More than 700 have been administered plasma therapy for Covid-19 in Delhi
Two other dedicated Covid-19 hospitals — Lok Nayak and Guru Teg Bahadur — that had set up banks will now also provide convalescent plasma to those admitted in other hospitals, starting Wednesday.Updated: Aug 12, 2020 00:27 IST
More than 700 Covid-19 patients in the national capital have been administered convalescent plasma therapy plasma therapy one-and-a-half months since the country’s first plasma bank was set up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Science at Vasant Kunj.
Two other dedicated Covid-19 hospitals — Lok Nayak and Guru Teg Bahadur — that had set up banks will now also provide convalescent plasma to those admitted in other hospitals, starting Wednesday. Either the patients or the hospital will have to provide a replacement donor or an undertaking of providing one at the earliest.
Convalescent plasma therapy uses the blood component plasma that has virus-fighting antibodies from a patient who has recovered from Covid-19 to a person still fighting the infection to aid their immune system.
According to data provided by the Delhi government, 710 units of convalescent plasma have been issued to patients from other hospitals so far — 388 to patients over the age of 60 and 322 to patient below that age. The youngest to have received plasma from the government bank was 18-years-old and the oldest was 94-years-old. The gender-wise breakup of the data shows that among the recipients 522 were males and 188 female.
Several studies have shown that men are at a higher risk of dying of Covid-19 because of higher levels of ACE-2 receptors that the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease, uses to enter cells.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said plasma therapy plays an important role in reducing the death rate among Covid-19 patients until a vaccine is available. He said it has shown encouraging results in recovery of critically ill patients and should be looked at as an effective treatment for Covid-19.
An interim analysis of the clinical outcomes of 30 Covid-19 patients at the All India Institute of Medical Science found that the number of deaths remained the same among those who received convalescent plasma and those who didn’t. A large study of 20,000 patients spearheaded by the Mayo clinic in the United States found the therapy to be safe, it did not establish efficacy of the therapy.
A study from China in April showed that there was improvement in clinical parameters such as oxygen saturation in patient who received the therapy, but the scientists noted that larger studies were needed to prove the effectiveness of the therapy.
“However, none of the studies so far have shown mortality benefit of this therapy, or any other therapy for that matter. However, we have seen that it reduces the severity and the recovery time for the infection,” said Dr SK Sarin, director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences.