Kejriwal says Plasma Therapy can be an Effective Treatment for COVID-19. What is it and How it Works?

Delhi Chief Minister said that plasma therapy trials have produced encouraging results and it could act as a ray of hope for humanity to fight the coronavirus. Check out more details here.

Updated: Apr 24, 2020 14:24 IST

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Monika

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Tags: India Corona

Kejriwal Suggests Plasma Therapy for COVID-19 Treatment.

 

Scientists across the world are rushing to formulate antidotes for the dreadful coronavirus that has affected over 25 lakhs and claimed the lives of more than 1,90,000 globally. Trials are underway across the world for possible drugs, but despite all efforts, the scientists have failed to discover a potential cure for the new infection.

Amid this, the scientists recently came with a treatment called 'Convalescent Plasma Therapy', asserting that it could become a ray of hope for humanity to fight the coronavirus.

On Friday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that plasma therapy trials on four COVID-19 patients in the national capital have shown "encouraging results," adding that more experiments to be done in the next two-three days.

He further said that after a few days, the Delhi government would seek permission from the Centre to allow it to perform plasma therapy on acute COVID-19 patients appealed to people who have recovered from coronavirus to come forward and donate plasma of severe patients. With this, hopes have awakened that plasma therapy could finally become a cure for the deadly disease. However, many people are still oblivious about what plasma therapy is. So here's all you need to know about it:

What is Plasma therapy?

Convalescent Plasma Therapy, which is known as 'Plasma therapy,' is an experimental procedure to treat coronavirus infection. It is similar to passive immunization and is based on the theory that the blood of a cured coronavirus patient contains antibodies that have the ability to fight an infection.

In this treatment, blood from a cured coronavirus patient is transfused into a COVID-19 patient with a critical condition, which can help develop antibodies against the infection. These antibodies are basically attacking pathogens and can help in eliminating coronavirus from an infected patient's body. However, researchers have claimed that this method is a preventive measure and not a treatment for the coronavirus.

What is the procedure for plasma therapy?

The antibodies which are developed in a cured persons' body are transmitted to an infected patient to produce antibodies against coronavirus. Generally, the blood which is taken from a cured coronavirus patient is checked for the presence of any other disease-causing agents such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, etc. following which the plasma is extracted from it.

"The concept is simple. Patients who recover from an infectious disease often produce antibodies that can protect against later infections with the same microbe. This immunity can be transferred by giving serum to those at risk of infection," said John Hopkins University immunologist Arturo Casadevall, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal.

Are there any risks involved in Plasma therapy?

Yes! There are several risks involved in plasma therapy. The most significant risk is that an inadvertent infection might also get transferred to a coronavirus positive patient during the treatment, which can cause some severe problems. Researchers have also claimed that plasma therapy can also lead to enhanced forms of coronavirus, which is potentially more dangerous. The antibodies which are transferred to an infected person can also suppress that patient's natural immune system.       

Plasma therapy in India:

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), however, does not recommend this as a treatment option for coronavirus outside of clinical trials. Recently, it had invited institutions with the equipment and infrastructure available to participate in a clinical trial to study the safety and efficacy of therapeutic plasma exchange in COVID-19 patients, after necessary approvals and clearances.