Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on 29 June2020 stated that a 'plasma bank' will be established in the national capital to help treat COVID-19 patients. The 'plasma bank' will be set-up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in Delhi. Anyone who needs plasma will need a recommendation from a doctor. People can take plasma from relatives and known people.
What is Plasma therapy?
- Plasma (the yellowish liquid component of blood) from a recovered Covid-19 patient contains antibodies that may help fight the disease when infused into the bodies of another person suffering from Covid-19. These antibodies are capable of fighting the virus that causes the illness and also helps in faster recovery.
- Because it takes a few weeks for antibodies to form, the hope is that transfusing someone else’s antibodies could help patients fight the virus before their immune system kicks in.
Is it a new treatment?
- Plasma therapy is a century-old remedy that was used to fight infection before modern medicine came along.
- In 1918, during the outbreak of flu pandemic, plasma therapy was used on patients and the then reports had suggested: "patients are less likely to die".
- Thousands of coronavirus patients have been treated with plasma therapy across the world.
- In the US, Mayo Clinic is working in collaboration with industry, academic and government partners for the 'Expanded Access Program'.
- The program has so far attended over 38,000 patients.
- Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on 29 June 2020 launched convalescent plasma therapy-cum- trial project for treatment of critical Covid-19 patients with a state medical education department official calling it the largest initiative of its kind in the world.
- Convalescent plasma therapy, also called passive antibody therapy, seeks to obtain plasma from the blood of people who have recovered from the infection to inject into patients undergoing treatment.
- The project, titled 'Platina', is the largest convalescent plasma therapy-cum-trial project in the world.
- The trial will be held in 17 medical colleges under the department of medical education and drugs, and four BMC- run colleges in Mumbai.
- All critical patients will receive two doses of 200 ml convalescent plasma free of cost.