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Home / Pune News / Pune’s Sassoon hospital awaits ICMR approval for plasma therapy

Pune’s Sassoon hospital awaits ICMR approval for plasma therapy

Centre says treatment should be used only for research and trial purpose and not on patients.

pune Updated: Apr 29, 2020 17:02 IST
Steffy Thevar
Steffy Thevar
Hindustan Times, Pune
BJ Government Medical College's molecular lab prepares for coronavirus testing at Sassoon hospital in Pune.
BJ Government Medical College's molecular lab prepares for coronavirus testing at Sassoon hospital in Pune.(PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT)

Pune: While Sassoon General Hospital is awaiting permission from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to start plasma therapy on patients, the Union ministry of health on Wednesday clarified that the treatment should be used only for research and trial purpose and not on patients.

Earlier, state health minister Rajesh Tope had said that Centre has granted permission to start plasma therapy in government hospitals in Maharashtra following which Pune district administration prepared a list of donors though few of them expressed reluctance to offer plasma.

While the central health ministry has approved the usage of plasma therapy to treat critically ill Covid-19 patients in Maharashtra, every hospital needs an official permission from the ICMR to begin the treatment process.

Dr Subhash Salunkhe, chairman, Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Technical Committee, said, “We are in final stages of approval before we can start the process of plasma therapy. We have prepared a list and are convincing people to donate their blood for treatment of others. Some people had refused to donate blood which is their right. As soon as the official paper work is over, we can start with plasma transfusion for critically ill patients.”

Most of those identified by the district administration as donors are those who recovered in the first batch during March. One of the person recovered from Covid-19 from that batch said requesting anonymity, “It is true that PMC officials called me for plasma therapy, but I haven’t made up my mind.”

On Monday, Pune-based businessman Avinash Bhosale donated a plasmapheresis machine used to separate plasma from blood of a cured patient. The machine can be put to use only after approval from the ICMR. Pune divisional commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar said, “For the treatment of critically ill patients, we are awaiting approval from the ICMR for use of plasma therapy. A plasmapheresis machine has been donated to Sassoon which would be used to start the therapy.”

At Delhi, on Wednesday, Lav Aggarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health said, “Plasma therapy is being experimented, however no evidence that this can be used as a treatment. National level study is launched by ICMR to study the efficacy.”

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