Explained: What is plasma therapy and can it help in reducing COVID-19-linked deaths? All you need to know
New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: India has been witnessing over 2 lakh daily coronavirus cases over the past few days, thanks to the second wave of the pandemic. The alarming rise in cases has led to a shortage of adequate medical facilities in several states and cities, including Delhi and Mumbai.
Amid this, requests for plasma donation have increased across social media with people asking for help for their near ones who have tested coronavirus positive. Interestingly, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also appealed to people to donate plasma to help doctors treat coronavirus patients.
What is plasma therapy?
Plasma therapy, which is broadly known as 'convalescent plasma therapy', is an experimental procedure to treat coronavirus infection. In this treatment, plasma, the yellowish liquid part of the blood, is extracted from a person who has recovered from the infection and injected into a patient who is suffering from that disease. The plasma contains that antibodies that can help a patient fight the pathogen and recover from the disease.
Who can donate plasma?
In the case of COVID-19, a plasma donor should have recovered from the infection in around 28 days and should be in the age group of 18 to 60 years. The donor should have a minimum weight of 50 kgs and should not be suffering from any transmissible or chronic diseases.
Can plasma therapy help in curing COVID-19?
Though demand for plasma therapy has increased in India, medical experts believe that it is not much effective in treating severe COVID-19 cases and can't reduce the mortality rate.
Some medical experts even believe that plasma therapy is "outdated" and should not be considered as "primary therapy" to treat COVID-19 and should only be used in conjunction with standard protocol drugs.
Last year, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had also said that plasma therapy didn't help in reducing COVID-19-linked deaths and was not associated with a reduction in mortality or progression to severe coronavirus.
"This trial has high generalizability and approximates real-life setting of convalescent plasma therapy in settings with limited laboratory capacity. A priori measurement of neutralizing antibody titres in donors and participants may further clarify the role of CP in the management of COVID-19," it said in a study.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma