On April 27, 2020, the King George Medical University in Uttar Pradesh became the first government hospital to launch plasma therapy to treat COVID-19. The first dose of plasma therapy was given to a 58-year old patient.
The Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) recently cleared the proposal of plasma therapy that was submitted by ICMR. The DGCI nodded to use plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.
What is the process?
The patients recovered from COVID-19 generate IGM and IGG antibodies against the virus. These antibodies are assessed from the samples of the donors through rapid tests. The plasma collected from the volunteering donors are then transfused into patients that are critically sick due to the virus.The DGCI has passed an order that not more than 1000 ml of plasma can be collected from a donor in one month.
The states and union territories such as Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh have begun to use plasma therapy treatment. However, King George Medical University is the first to use the treatment in government hospital.
History of the therapy in India
In India, the plasma therapy had been used to treat diseases such as mumps, measles, polio and flu. The treatment was used before vaccines were available. Plasma therapy was used to heal 1703 patients of Spanish flu in 1918.