Telangana

Plasma therapy not useful for critically-ill patients

For representational purpose only. Doctors at Gandhi Hospital have observed that adequate antibodies extracted from plasma might not develop when the infection is very mild.

For representational purpose only. Doctors at Gandhi Hospital have observed that adequate antibodies extracted from plasma might not develop when the infection is very mild.   | Photo Credit: G. RAMAKRISHNA

In dire situations, family members of seriously ill COVID-19 patients are trying all means to get plasma from a COVID-19 recovered patients. However, senior officials from the Telangana Health department cautioned that some health facilities are exploiting people in the name of convalescent plasma therapy.

State’s Director of Medical Education (DME) K. Ramesh Reddy said that the plasma therapy is in clinical trials stages, and it will not be useful for critically-ill COVID patients and those who are on ventilators.

Plasma collected from patients who recovered from the infectious disease would contain antibodies which neutralizes coronavirus. It is expected that the mortality rate might come down and patients will recover when plasma filled with the neutralizing antibodies are infused into COVID-19 patients. Clinical trials are being conducted at Gandhi Hospital to test its effectiveness.

However, off late, family members of patients admitted in private hospitals have requested for convalescent plasma from COVID recovered patients.

The DME explained who can donate plasma, and who might benefit from it. He said that while vaccines trigger release of antibodies, the plasma therapy is another means of sending antibodies into body.

“Patients with moderate to severe symptoms can be given the plasma therapy but not to those who are critically-ill and who are on ventilator support because viral load will be so high, the antibodies (in convalescent plasma) are of no use to them,” Dr. Reddy said.

Not all COVID-19 recovered patients have adequate number of antibodies in plasma. The senior health official said that doctors at Gandhi Hospital have observed that adequate antibodies might not develop when infection is very mild.

“Antibodies in very mild symptomatic patients might protect them from second infection. But it will not be enough to infuse and protect others. Around 85% to 90% of patients have mild symptoms and get cured. Patients with moderate symptoms have sufficient antibodies,” the DME explained.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 11:39:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/plasma-therapy-not-useful-for-critically-ill-patients/article32306566.ece

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