Plasma therapy inadvisable for COVID-19 patients, experts say

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A few days ago, Vijay (name changed), a Visakhapatnam Steel Plant employee, had to run from pillar to post to get two plasma units when doctors at a private hospital treating his father with COVID-19 asked him to to get them in an emergency. With great effort, he managed to pay 35,000 yen for two units on the gray market.

This is the case in the city, where the use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients has already been canceled worldwide.

“There is enough data to suggest that CPT has no role in treating COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Laxmi Narayana R. Buddharaju of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“We have already stopped using CPT in the western world, and even the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has done enough evidence-based studies to suggest the same thing,” he added.

According to Dr. Sudhakar, director of Andhra Medical College and the district’s COVID special envoy, had already issued a recommendation from the ICMR stating that indiscriminate use of CPT on coronavirus-infected patients was not advisable.

According to the ICMR, a potential convalescent plasma donor should have a sufficient concentration of antibodies that are effective against COVID-19, he added.

Initial theories negated

There was a time when it was recommended, but those were in the early stages of the pandemic. “Now we have enough data to negate that understanding,” said Dr. Ram Kairam, Pediatric Neurologist, Texas, USA

“In the first few days, the treatment of COVID-19 was on an experimental basis and we at KGH bought a machine for ₹ 40 lakh to extract plasma. We even held press meetings to encourage people healed from COVID-19 to donate plasma. But now these theories have proven to be unfounded and we have enough evidence that they are not effective, ”explained Dr. Sudhakar.

According to Dr. Premkumar, Breast Specialist at the Government Hospital for Breast and Communicable Diseases, recommended CPT for critical patients for the first few days, then said it would be best when given just before a patient entered the ventilation phase, said that it is best when given in the first few days of the COVID-19 time cycle. But development of science and research over the past year suggested that CPT is now history and people might now question its use if recommended, he said.

Global perspective

The experts spoke at the 60th webinar hosted by Dr. Sudhakar for AMC in collaboration with Dr. Ram and Dr. Sridhar Chilimuri, Chairman, Bronx Care, New York, USA

“We have been running these webinars for the last year since the outbreak of the pandemic. The disease is new to us and the webinar helps us understand the pandemic from a global perspective. Sharing and learning best practices is the basic idea, ”said Dr. Sudhakar.

Some of the webinars have been lecture demonstrations and eye openers for many doctors studying COVID-19 treatment. “These sessions will continue as various aspects from critical treatment procedures to basics such as the use of oxygen and masks are discussed,” said Dr. Sudhakar.

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