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Plasma therapy effective among 60% critical patients, says city doctor

Plasma therapy effective among 60% critical patients, says city doctor
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Plasma therapy effective among 60% critical patients, says city doctor 

Highlights

India is contemplating removing plasma therapy from the national guideline for the treatment of coronavirus. The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has conducted a trial, called PLACID, involving 464 Covid-19 patients in 39 hospitals across the country, and concluded that plasma therapy was ineffective in reducing mortality.

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India is contemplating removing plasma therapy from the national guideline for the treatment of coronavirus. The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has conducted a trial, called PLACID, involving 464 Covid-19 patients in 39 hospitals across the country, and concluded that plasma therapy was ineffective in reducing mortality.

Alluding to the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) that issued an emergency use authorisation (EUA) for convalescent plasma to treat Covid-19 patients, Dr. Vishal Rao, Associate Dean, Centre of Academics & Research , HCG Cancer Hospital, Bengaluru and the person behind initiating the plasma therapy programme in the State said, "The USFDA based on the data found on Mayo Clinic and several other published data has maintained that plasma therapy currently may be effective. The absence of evidence does not mean the therapy is not effective because more than 13 studies have consistently shown that it is effective. Plasma therapy needs to be given early."

Elaborating on his experience, he said, "At HCG we have been following the VITROS as a platform which is a USFDA platform to predict neutralising antibody titers and we have been giving plasma to patients with high antibody titers. Our own results show that it has been up to 60% efficacious in patients who are serious or critically ill. This is very crucial to understand. I would urge that we look at stronger guidelines, global aspects, precedence on the World Health Organisation (WHO), the USFDA and do not ignore plasma as a therapy because if we remove plasma today I can assure you that today in ICU the patients have no other hope at this point of time."

Talking to The Hans India, Dr Rao stated, "Out of every 100 Covid recovered individuals contacted by our team only 7-8 people are forthcoming to donate plasma. So, definitely the number of donors coming forward voluntarily is dismal. There are also a lot of misconceptions regarding plasma donation. As plasma donation is a completely safe procedure and provides an opportunity to save lives, we encourage more people to come forward for the procedure." Recently, commenting over the ICMR's decision, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi's Director Dr Randeep Guleria was of the opinion that it's too early to comment on the government body's observation and that he has to look at more data.

"We have provided plasma to almost 900 patients in Karnataka and according to our preliminary evaluation 60 percent of these patients have shown definite clinical improvement. The recovery rate in severe and critically ill patients is 50-60%," Dr Rao added.

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