The clinical trials using convalescent plasma therapy has been successful in 18 persons who had tested positive for COVID-19 in the state, Tamil Nadu's Health and Family Welfare Minister C Vijayabaskar said on Saturday, July 4.
Eighteen of the 20 patient at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH), who were infected with the virus were able to recover after being administered the plasma therapy, the Minister said.
In a tweet, the Minister said that as per the Indian Council of Medical Research's guidelines, a trial of convalescent plasma therapy was being carried out since May, in which, 18 COVID-19 patients have recovered. He also appealed to the people who had recovered to donate plasma for saving lives.
"As per ICMR guidelines, convalescent plasma clinical trial is done since May. Plasma therapy was successful in 18 COVID-19 patients out of 20. I discussed with the blood bank doctors' team today (Saturday) about further steps. I appeal to those who have recovered to donate plasma for saving lives," the Tamil Nadu Health Minister tweeted.
The Minister also shared a video of his meeting with the team of doctors, in which, the doctors explain that not all patients who recovered from the deadly disease can donate plasma. In order to donate plasma, the person should not be above 60 years of age, should not have any comorbidities, and should be healthy. Furthermore, plasma can be extracted only after 14-days from the time they reported negative for COVID-19.
Plasma therapy is the process in which antibodies of a cured COVID-19 patient is used for the treatment of coronavirus patients. As per ICMR, plasma therapy is still an experimental treatment.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's Clinical management protocol for COVID-19 states that the convalescent plasma may be administered to a patient with moderate symptoms, who are not improving in spite of the use of steroids. Special pre-requisites including ABO compatibility and cross-matching of donor plasma are also important.