What is Convalescent Plasma Therapy?

Convalescent Plasma Therapy is also known as plasmapheresis, which is a sensation among news, media, internet, social media, and people these days. Scientists have discovered that this therapy can help in treatment coronavirus.  So let’s know what this plasma therapy is and how it can be used to prevent the Coronavirus.

What is the Meaning Convalescent Plasma Therapy?

Convalescent Plasma Therapy, also known as plasmapheresis, is the removal, treatment, and return or exchange of the patient’s blood plasma. Plasma Therapy is a therapy, which takes antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from a virus and injects those antibodies into a person sick with that virus, has long been used as a way to help kickstart a person’s immune system.

In this therapy, small amounts of blood are slowly removed through an embedded needle or central line catheter and circulated through a machine that portion blood into a plasma substitute added to your blood cells (red cells, white cells, and platelets).

They are returned by intravenous or central venous catheter access. The plasma is discarded in a waste bag. One procedure typically removes 65 to 70 per cent of the disease-causing proteins (antibodies) in the plasma.

How does it work to fight from COVID-19?

Convalescent Plasma Therapy: It also is known as passive antibody therapy is based on the antibodies and proteins developed by the immune system that protects the body from any potential diseases.

When any virus attacks the body, the immune system generates antibodies to attack the virus. These antibodies are produced by proteins that are secreted by immune cells known as B lymphocytes, are found in blood plasma, or the liquid part of blood that helps the blood to clot when required and strengthens immunity.

Plasma Therapy for Coronavirus: Once a person who recovers from the virus and has developed antibodies that will stay in their blood waiting to fight the same virus should it return. And if these antibodies are injected into another person’s body infected with the same virus, they recognize the virus and attack it. However, these antibodies stay for a short period in another person’s blood.

In the case of the Coronavirus, researchers say antibodies attack the spikes on the outside of the virus, preventing the virus from entering human cells.

Plasma Therapy

In COVID-19, some small studies have been prepared in India, China, and the United States where they had tried this treatment method by ‘taking the rich blood plasma of a patient who is recovered from COVID-19 and whose blood contains an appropriate amount of antibodies to fight from Coronavirus. Their plasma is collected and implanted into COVID-19 patients who are critically ill and whose immune system cannot be able to fight from the virus.

Is this plasma Therapy is effective in treating COVID-19 patients?

It is not currently clear that which mechanism of convalescent plasma will be an effective treatment against COVID-19, but news of success from studies around the world are showing promise. Though, it is expected that the infusion of blood plasma will increase the passive immunity of the patient. The antibodies can fight back the virus until the patient develops his or her targeted ability to fight from the virus.

Researchers expect that convalescent plasma will be useful in treating people with the most acute symptoms of the virus. Additionally, it can likely keep safe those people who are not affected by COVID-19 to get involved.


Trials of Convalescent Plasma Therapy:

ICMR approved Convalescent Plasma Therapy for COVID-19 patients in India:

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has concluded the research protocols for plasma therapy and has approved the use of treatment for COVID-19 patients in India. ICMR needs the approval of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) before conducting the clinical trials. The DCGI permission is required for collecting the blood donation for this kind of treatment.


Trials of plasma therapy in the US:


Convalescent plasma therapy gained momentum in the United States on March 28, 2020, when the two hospitals namely Houston Methodist Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center, have partnered with the FDA on clinical trials on convalescent plasma and is treating three patients with the therapy. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, is also conducting convalescent plasma trials. However, the results are still waiting.

Trials of Convalescent plasma therapy conducted in China:

While per the tests conducted on a few patients of Coronavirus in China, the therapy came out as a hopeful opportunity for severe cases. These tests were conducted on ten patients who were given a single dose of blood plasma of recovered patients. The results showed that the Coronavirus disappeared from patients’ blood in 7 days; lung injuries improved within seven days and clinical symptoms increased significantly within three days.

Kerala to be the first state to initiate Convalescent Plasma Therapy:

With the ICMR giving it approval to Kerala for conducting the trials of plasma therapy, the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) will soon begin with the trials by April end.

PGIMER Chandigarh to soon launch trials for Plasma Therapy:

Dr Jagat Ram, Director of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh, recently announced that the institute would soon begin with the trials of Convalescent plasma therapy in collaboration with another COVID-19 centre.

How many patients can be treated with one donor’s plasma?

A report has come out that a person who has been cured of Coronavirus can produce two doses of Plasma therapy with his blood for transfusions. Scientists say that a person only needs one transfusion to get enough antibodies to recover entirely from the Coronavirus.

I hope that this therapy can be made soon by scientists and all its trials will also be successful so that people can be saved from this Scary coronavirus pandemic.



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