Plasma therapy uses antibodies found in blood of cured persons to treat infected patients.(REUTERS)
Plasma therapy uses antibodies found in blood of cured persons to treat infected patients.(REUTERS)

PGIMER has received only 5 donors for plasma therapy clinical trials

The criteria laid down by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) states that plasma of only those persons, who had remained critically ill before recovering, can be used. Doctors say that this is posing a challenge as most patients here had remained asymptomatic and thus don’t qualify to be donors.
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Amanjeet Singh Salyal, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON MAY 30, 2020 09:40 PM IST

With only five donors coming forward so far, the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, is finding it difficult to start clinical trials of convalescent plasma therapy on Covid-19 patients.

The trials are aimed at assessing the efficacy of plasma therapy, which uses antibodies found in cured persons to treat infected patients.

The criteria laid down by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) states that plasma of only those persons, who had remained critically ill before recovering, can be used. Doctors say that this is posing a challenge as most patients here had remained asymptomatic and thus don’t qualify to be donors.

They added that they have even approached survivors in neighbouring states but those patients had also been asymptomatic.

Patients admitted in the Nehru Hospital Extension Block will be eligible to receive this therapy.

PGIMER’s official spokesperson Dr Ashok Kumar said there is a shortage of donors as a large number of donors have been asymptomatic and thus don’t clear the ICMR criteria.

It has been almost three weeks since the institute got the nod from the ICMR for the trials but so far they have not been able to start it.

THE EFFICACY

Though the efficacy of the therapy is still unknown, Dr RR Sharma, head of the department of transfusion medicine, says, “Some research has shown that the there is direct link between development of antibodies and the development of symptoms. For example: a person who has developed the symptoms like fever and cough has chances of anti-bodies developing in body,” said.

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