Use of plasma therapy successful, claims Pune hospital

At least 25 COVID-19 patients, who are in a semi-critical condition at Pune's government-run Sassoon General Hospital, will be administered tocilizumab, a drug which has proven effective in treating the infection, an official said on Friday.

"The first attempt of plasma therapy on Covid-19 patient has proved successful at Sassoon hospital", the minister wrote on Twitter. Two physicians, who recently recovered from Covid-19, donated the plasma samples.

After two weeks, the disease worsened in 18 per cent of the plasma patients and 24 per cent of the control patients. The blood component that carries the antibodies can be collected and given to newly infected patients - it is known as "convalescent plasma".

A 47-year-old woman, who had co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, hyperthyroid and obesity and who was in critical condition, was given convalescent plasma therapy twice on May 10 and 11.

The study showed a trend toward better survival rates, but the number of patients was small and the results can not be interpreted as applying to patients on mechanical ventilators, researchers at New York's Mt. Sinai Medical Centre said. They had been admitted to Naidu Hospital along with their daughter, and had subsequently recovered and been discharged. The plasma is then injected into an active Covid-19 patient to help kickstart the immune response. On May 20, the plasma was infused in another patient.

"The National Technical Advisory Committee [NTAC] and the Bangladesh Medical Research Council [BMRC] have given ethical permission to collect plasma for conducting experimental research and study", he added.

He and his wife were the first Covid-19 patients reported in the state. "I hope the patients recover soon", he said.

Doctors used a variety of methods such as convalescent plasma therapy and traditional Chinese medicine for his treatment.

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