Covid-19: PGIMER’s first coronavirus patient given plasma therapy recovers

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Published: June 12, 2020 10:17 PM

PGIMER was one of the centres of the ICMR for national trials on convalescent plasma therapy for coronavirus positive patients who require oxygen therapy.

Convalescent plasma is plasma taken from patients who have recovered from coronavirus.

A 60-year-old coronavirus patient from Haryana who was administered the convalescent plasma therapy was discharged from the PGIMER here after he recovered from the infection. He was the first coronavirus patient treated with plasma therapy at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, said a press release issued by the hospital.

Pankaj Malhotra, department of Internal Medicine, PGIMER, said the patient who is a resident of Kurukshetra in Haryana came in a serious condition with pneumonia, requiring oxygen therapy. “After plasma therapy and supportive care, he was taken off oxygen therapy in three days’ time and gradually his condition improved over time,” he said.

Malhotra said PGIMER was one of the centres of the ICMR for national trials on convalescent plasma therapy for coronavirus positive patients who require oxygen therapy. “PGI was chosen as one of the ICMR sites in the last week of April. The first patient donated plasma on May 9. The first corona patient who became eligible to get plasma therapy got enrolled on June 1,” Malhotra said.

Jagat Ram, Director PGIMER, said, “It is definitely encouraging news for all of us and I compliment the entire team for their untiring efforts to make it a success. The man was the first patient at PGIMER who has received plasma therapy which is recommended for moderately ill COVID-19 patients.

G D Puri, Dean (Academics) & Head, department of Anesthesia & Intensive Care, gave details about the therapy and said, “The successful recovery with plasma therapy is a positive indicator. For plasma therapy clinical trials we need more donors to come forward. We have to counsel the recovered patients and their relatives to convince them to donate blood.”

Convalescent plasma is plasma taken from patients who have recovered from coronavirus. There are many reports that show that it is a useful therapy in the early stage of disease. The plasma therapy works through antibodies which are present in the plasma. The patients who have recovered from the COVID-19 infection are eligible to donate plasma, which is then stored in a blood bank to be given later to patients who come with severe infection, said the PGIMER statement.

Meanwhile, a government hospital in Faridkot has conducted Punjab’s maiden convalescent plasma therapy on a COVID-19 patient. “Punjab Medical Education and Research Minister O P Soni said the therapy was given to a seriously ill COVID-19 patient by a team of doctors at the Guru Gobind Singh Medical College & Hospital, Faridkot.
“This hospital has become one of the pioneer institutes in the country to initiate this therapy, as a part of National Clinical Trial under the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research),” said the minister.

Soni said this was the first ever therapy given in Punjab to a coronavirus patient. A few days back, the plasma of a patient who had recovered from COVID-19 was collected and stored for this purpose at the same hospital, Soni said.
After receiving the plasma therapy, the patient’s condition is gradually improving and is now under observation, he said.

Vice Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) Raj Bahadur said convalescent plasma can be taken from any patient who has recovered from the COVID-19 disease. Once a patient’s report becomes negative, he/she can donate his/her plasma after 14 days, as such a person’s blood contains antibodies which can help in curing the disease, he added.

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