Plasma Therapy For COVID-19: A Possible Treatment For Coronavirus?

Plasma therapy: The convalescent plasma therapy aims at using antibodies from the blood of a recovered COVID-19 patient, to treat those who are critically ill after being infected with the virus.

Plasma Therapy For COVID-19: A Possible Treatment For Coronavirus?

Plasma therapy: ICMR, DGCI are working to give approvals for it in critically ill COVID-19 patients

Highlights

  • A 49-year-old critically ill patient responded well to plasma therapy
  • It could have worked as a catalyst in speeding up his recovery
  • 100% recovery cannot be attributed to plasma therapy only: Dr Budhiraja

In a first, a COVID-19 patient undergoing treatment at a private hospital in New Delhi has shown positive results to Plasma Therapy. The 49-year old was critically ill and was administered fresh plasma as a treatment modality along with standard treatment protocol on the night of 14 April. Post therapy, his condition improved and he was taken off ventilator support by the fourth day.

In a press release shared by the hospital, Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Senior Director of Internal Medicine at Max Healthcare, said, "During the patient's treatment, other standard treatment protocols were followed and we can say that plasma therapy could have worked as a catalyst in speeding up his recovery. We cannot attribute 100% recovery to plasma therapy only, as there are multiple factors which carved his path to recovery."

What is convalescent plasma therapy?

The convalescent plasma therapy aims at using antibodies from the blood of a recovered COVID-19 patient, to treat those who are critically ill after being infected with the virus. The concept of the therapy is based on the premise that the blood of a patient who has recovered from COVID-19 contains antibodies with the specific ability of fighting this novel coronavirus. The recovered patient's antibodies can be injected to someone under treatment. They will then begin targeting and fighting the novel coronavirus in the second patient.

What are the prerequisites for using plasma therapy?

According to Dr Deven Juneja, Associate Director at the Institute of Critical Care Medicine, Max Healthcare, "To use plasma therapy, there are specific criterion laid down by the US FDA, which include that the patient should be a confirmed case of COVID-19, the family members and the patient should give consent for this therapy and clinically, the patient should have a severe disease or any life-threatening problems. These problems may include breathlessness, dropping of oxygen levels, need for mechanical ventilation, low blood pressure or presence of multiple organ failure."

"This therapy has a good potential to help COVID-19 patients who have disease severity which fits into moderate to severe category. One donor can donate 400ml of plasma which can save two lives, as 200ml is sufficient to treat one patient," informs Dr Budhiraja. 

What is the right time to use plasma therapy for COVID-19 treatment?

Dr Juneja says, "Research suggests that the best results from the plasma therapy can be obtained when it is used within the first 14 days of symptoms. After that, chances of recovery are low as there can be permanent damage to some organs of the body, etc."

Are there are any risks associated with plasma therapy?

"No serious side effects have been reported with the plasma therapy. There could be minor risks which are associated with transfusion of blood", Dr Juneja informed.

Is plasma therapy a new therapy?

"Studies have shown that plasma therapy has been effective in Ebola and in other coronavirs infections like MERS and SARS," says Dr P Raghu Ram, President of the Association of Surgeons of India.

"Only small number of studies have been done in COVID-19 patients world over and in these limited studies, plasma therapy has been found to be effective. However, thus far, no definitive large-scale trials have demonstrated its proven benefit. There are now several trials being undertaken in several countries including USA and China to assess the efficacy of this therapy," Dr Ram added. " The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has recently given the go ahead for Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to assess the efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy and its role in limiting the complications in COVID-19 patients."

How plasma therapy works as part of COVID-19 treatment?

"It is not wise to expect miraculous recovery after the therapy," says Dr Juneja while adding that at least 72 hours are required for the patient to show a response to this therapy. Some patients may take up to 10 days, he says.

Here are some symptoms to show that the therapy is effective in a patient:

  • The patient's oxygen requirement is reduced.
  • Chest x-ray becomes better.
  • Patient experiences improvement in breathing.
  • The patient no longer require support from mechanical ventilation.
  • Viral load decreases after the therapy. "Our patient tested positive twice before he was given this therapy. After the therapy, he was tested negative," Dr Juneja explained.

Are there chances of the virus coming back after testing negative?

According to Dr Juneja, there have been a few reports of patients becoming positive again but it's exact cause remains unknown. This could be due because of the following reasons: 

1. Re-infection - Catching the infection from someone who was positive

2. Re-activation - Maybe the virus was inactive for a few days and became active again

3. False-positive

"For plasma therapy, we are taking plasma after at least 28 days of clinical recovery of the donor, or at least 14 days after his RT-PCR samples have been tested negative for COVID-19. That's how we are choosing a donor," says Dr Juneja.

In a video message shared by Dr Budhiraja, he stressed that patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus and are now healthy should willingly come forward to donate plasma as it can be life saving for many other patients who have not been as lucky.

Government approval awaited

Both ICMR and DGCI are working at a fast pace to give regulatory approvals and clearances for using plasma therapy in critically ill COVID-19 patients. "In fact, both the organisations have uploaded protocols on their website," Dr Budhiraja says while adding, "We are hoping for the approvals to happen in the next few days. After that, a lot of centres in the country can use plasma therapy as an important part of treatment for critically ill patients. It does show positive response in a subset of patients."

(Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director - Max Healthcare and Senior Director - Institute of Internal Medicine)

(Dr Deven Juneja, Associate Director, Institute of Critical Care Medicine, Max Speciality Hospital, Saket)

(Dr P Raghu Ram, President of the Association of Surgeons of India)

Disclaimer: Plasma therapy is not proven to be coronavirus cure, it is only being tested as one. This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

World

4,49,93,728Cases
1,35,17,739Active
3,02,95,109Recovered
11,80,880Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 190 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 4,49,93,728 and 11,80,880 have died; 1,35,17,739 are active cases and 3,02,95,109 have recovered as on October 30, 2020 at 9:30 am.

India

80,88,851 48648Cases
5,94,386 -9301Active
73,73,375 57386Recovered
1,21,090 563Deaths
In India, there are 80,88,851 confirmed cases including 1,21,090 deaths. The number of active cases is 5,94,386 and 73,73,375 have recovered as on October 30, 2020 at 8:00 am.

State & District Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
DistrictCases
Akola757
Aurangabad1974
Dhule228
Jalgaon1039
Mumbai45478
Mumbai Suburban5363
Nagpur692
Nashik1575
Palghar1421
Pune9920
Satara629
Solapur1291
Thane13660
Yavatmal150
Ahmednagar190
Amravati291
Beed54
Bhandara41
Buldhana88
Chandrapur32
Hingoli208
Jalna201
Kolhapur646
Latur139
Nanded176
Nandurbar42
Parbhani78
Raigad1462
Ratnagiri350
Sangli145
Gadchiroli42
gondia69
Osmanabad125
Sindhudurg114
Wardha11
Washim13

1666668 5902

128149

1494809 7883

43710 156

DistrictCases
Chittoor319
Guntur511
Krishna557
Kurnool795
Sri Potti Sriramulu Nell*296
Anantapur428
East Godavari356
Prakasam104
Srikakulam183
Visakhapatnam103
West Godavari199
Y.S.R.205
Vizianagaram23

817679 2905

26268

784752 3243

6659 16

DistrictCases
Bengaluru Rural40
Bengaluru Urban529
Mysuru107
Bagalkote103
Ballari60
Belagavi337
Bidar219
Chikkaballapura149
Dakshina Kannada179
Dharwad61
Gadag45
Kalaburagi669
Mandya346
Tumakuru36
Uttara Kannada95
Vijayapura201
Chamarajanagara0
Chikkamagaluru19
Chitradurga14
Davangere204
Hassan205
Haveri24
Kodagu4
Kolar29
Koppal5
Raichur369
Ramanagara3
Shivamogga67
Udupi1176
Yadgir538

816809 4025

64499

741219 7661

11091 45

DistrictCases
North Goa57
South Goa69

43201 233

2436 34

40168 194

597 5

DistrictCases
Chengalpattu1314
Chennai23324
Kanchipuram503
Madurai322
Namakkal83
Ranipet133
Thanjavur130
Thiruvallur774
Thiruvarur67
Tiruppur116
Vellore71
Virudhunagar185
Ariyalur444
Coimbatore188
Cuddalore477
Dharmapuri15
Dindigul175
Erode75
Kallakurichi324
Kanniyakumari110
Karur88
Nagapattinam99
Perambalur133
Pudukkottai53
Ramanathapuram119
Salem258
Sivaganga46
Tenkasi103
The Nilgiris17
Theni129
Tiruchirappalli119
Tirunelveli433
Tirupathur45
Tiruvannamalai496
Tuticorin333
Villupuram509
Krishnagiri43

719403 2652

24886

683464 4087

11053 35

DistrictCases
Kannur357
Kottayam73
Alappuzha76
Idukki40
Kasaragod333
Kollam118
Kozhikode90
Malappuram119
Palakkad224
Pathanamthitta98
Thiruvananthapuram104
Thrissur106
Ernakulam60
Wayanad36

418484 7020

91889

325166 8474

1429 26

DistrictCases
Raipur46
Korba100
Balod41
Baloda Bazar85
Balrampur17
Bastar2
Bemetara21
Bijapur2
Bilaspur100
Dantewada0
Dhamtari6
Durg31
Gariyaband10
Janjgir-Champa56
Jashpur77
Kabirdham52
Kanker19
Kondagaon0
Korea39
Mahasamund54
Mungeli87
Narayanpur0
Raigarh47
Rajnandgaon52
Sukma0
Surajpur9
Surguja14

183588 2005

22331 164

159268 1788

1989 53

DistrictCases
Hyderabad2475
MedchalMalkajgiri75
Ranga Reddy183
Suryapet87
Vikarabad40
Warangal Urban32
Adilabad22
Jagitial77
Jangoan8
Jayashankar Bhupalapally9
Jogulamba Gadwal40
Kamareddy11
Karimnagar17
Khammam26
Kumuram Bheem Asifabad8
Mahabubnagar30
Mancherial43
Medak11
Nalgonda33
Narayanpet3
Nirmal21
Nizamabad76
RajannaSircilla16
Sangareddy26
Bhadradri Kothagudem5
Mahabubabad10
Mulugu3
Nagarkurnool8
Peddapalli5
Siddipet7
Wanaparthy1
Warangal Rural4
YadadriBhuvanagiri40

237187 1531

18456 477

217401 1048

1330 6

DistrictCases
Baleshwar190
Bhadrak137
Jajapur322
Dhenkanal36
Kalahandi33
Kendrapara164
Khordha238
Koraput16
Sundargarh102
Anugul26
Balangir129
Bargarh16
Boudh34
Cuttack155
Deogarh33
Gajapati61
Ganjam581
Jagatsinghapur91
Jharsuguda8
Kandhamal28
Kendujhar34
Malkangiri20
Mayurbhanj73
Nabarangpur2
Nayagarh86
Nuapada69
Puri103
Rayagada2
Sambalpur16
Sonepur29

287099 1617

13764

272038 1908

1297 13

DistrictCases
Barwani60
Bhopal1880
Dewas140
Dhar132
East Nimar266
Gwalior211
Indore3839
Jabalpur276
Ujjain799
Agar Malwa15
Alirajpur3
Betul35
Burhanpur351
Chhindwara16
Dindori29
Harda4
Hoshangabad37
Khargone196
Mandsaur112
Morena109
Raisen71
Ratlam51
Sagar228
Shajapur39
Shandol14
Sheopur26
Tikamgarh18
Vidisha37
Anuppur22
Ashoknagar13
Balaghat9
Bhind87
Chhatarpur35
Damoh26
Datia12
Guna8
Jhabua14
Katni3
Mandla15
Narsinghpur17
Neemuch319
Niwari0
Panna20
Rajgarh31
Rewa39
Satna24
Sehore12
Seoni2
Shivpuri15
Sidhi17
Singrauli13
Umaria10

169999 728

9689

157381 1117

2929 16

DistrictCases
Ahmadabad17125
Anand107
Arvalli134
Banas Kantha147
Bhavnagar146
Gandhinagar410
PanchMahals107
Surat2311
Vadodara1555
Bharuch56
Botad55
Chhotaudepur37
Dang5
Dohad43
GirSomnath45
Jamnagar63
Kachchh99
Kheda98
Mahesana159
Mahisagar125
Narmada25
Naysari35
Patan105
Rajkot135
SabarKantha101
Surendranagar55
Tapi6
Valsad47
Amreli16
DevbhumiDwarka22
Junagadh31
Morbi4
Porbandar11

170878 987

13232

153941 1083

3705 4

DistrictCases
Ajmer379
Banswara91
Bharatpur563
Jaipur2177
Jhalawar329
Jodhpur1748
Kota503
Nagaur500
Alwar90
Barmer34
Bhilwara250
Bikaner112
Chittorgarh188
Churu81
Dausa61
Dholpur60
Dungarpur374
Hanumangarh31
Jaisalmer53
Jhunjhunu64
Karauli17
Pali352
Rajsamand140
SawaiMadhopur26
Sikar231
Tonk171
Udaipur724
Baran59
Bundi5
Ganganagar8
Jalore164
Pratapgarh14
Sirohi130

193419 1790

15554

175977 1933

1888 11

DistrictCases
Faridabad867
Sonipat404
Ambala93
Bhiwani60
CharkiDadri43
Fatehabad38
Gurugram2950
Hisar98
Jhajjar114
Jind38
Kaithal48
Karnal104
Kurukshetra55
Nuh68
Palwal120
Panchkula39
Panipat78
Rohtak145
Sirsa50
Yamunanagar19
Mahendragarh47
Rewari56

163817 1594

11391 377

150660 1209

1766 8

DistrictCases
Agra933
Aligarh215
Amroha80
Bareilly17
Bijnor157
Bulandshahr166
Firozabad190
Gautam Buddha Nagar1119
Kanpur Nagar286
Lucknow386
Mathura129
Meerut504
Moradabad252
Muzaffarnagar117
Rae Bareli78
Rampur203
Saharanpur298
Sant Kabeer Nagar132
Varanasi243
Auraiya37
Ayodhya120
Azamgarh138
Baghpat68
Bahraich73
Balrampur49
Banda27
Basti214
Bhadohi60
Budaun23
Etah52
Etawah46
Ghaziabad794
Ghazipur159
Gonda59
Gorakhpur166
Hapur225
Hardoi49
Jalaun41
Jaunpur194
Jhansi41
Kannauj69
Kasganj16
Kaushambi6
Mainpuri46
Mau48
Mirzapur22
Pilibhit15
Pratapgarh15
Prayagraj30
Sambhal116
Shamli40
Shravasti23
Sitapur32
Sultanpur97
Unnao42
Ambedkar Nagar92
Amethi206
Ballia60
Barabanki168
Chandauli38
Chitrakoot4
Deoria143
Farrukhabad36
Fatehpur3
Hamirpur3
Hathras43
Kanpur Dehat4
Kheri72
Kushi Nagar67
Lalitpur3
Maharajganj85
Mahoba3
Shahjahanpur25
Siddharth Nagar159
Sonbhadra10

477895 1861

24858

446054 2465

6983 25

DistrictCases
Central4817
East2472
New Delhi3405
North3059
North East1914
North West5463
Shahdara1580
South2329
South East2446
South West2391
West4768

375753 5739

30952 1574

338378 4138

6423 27

DistrictCases
Dhubri30
Goalpara19
Marigaon50
Baksa14
Barpeta28
Biswanath16
Bongaigaon12
Cachar80
Charaideo29
Chirang6
Darrang20
Dhemaji47
Dibrugarh61
Dima Hasao86
Golaghat203
Hailakandi57
Hojai89
Jorhat24
Kamrup42
Kamrup Metro276
KarbiAnglong13
Karimganj85
Kokrajhar37
Lakhimpur57
Majuli2
Nagaon143
Nalbari23
Sivasagar20
Sonitpur27
South SalmaraMancachar4
Tinsukia84
Udalguri28
West KarbiAnglong5

205635 398

11138

193574 1057

923 6

DistrictCases
East District3
North District0
South District3
West District0

3893 18

268 5

3558 13

67

DistrictCases
Buxar134
Gaya115
Munger188
Patna279
Rohtas256
Arwal52
Aurangabad75
Banka134
Begusarai243
Bhagalpur266
Bhojpur103
Darbhanga143
Gopalganj123
Jehanabad178
Kaimur (bhabua)105
Lakhisarai72
Madhepura82
Madhubani199
Nalanda123
Nawada122
PurbiChamparan138
Purnia135
Saran101
Siwan139
Vaishali87
Araria68
Jamui47
Katihar175
Khagaria253
Kishanganj75
Muzaffarpur96
Pashchim Champaran57
Saharsa88
Samastipur139
Sheikhpura118
Sheohar20
Sitamarhi73
Supaul87

214242 666

8058

205108 930

1076 7

DistrictCases
24 Paraganas North1031
24 Paraganas South281
Darjeeling97
Howrah1435
Jalpaiguri88
Kalimpong18
Kolkata2777
Maldah235
Medinipur East153
Medinipur West159
Hooghly604
Murshidabad125
Nadia139
Paschim Bardhaman70
Purba Bardhaman130
Alipurduar39
Bankura116
Birbhum206
Coochbehar210
Dinajpur Dakshin50
Dinajpur Uttar216
Jhargram9
Purulia66

365692 3989

37094

321873 3945

6725 61

DistrictCases
South Andamans33
Nicobars1
North And Middle Andaman1

4305 16

192

4054 15

59 1

DistrictCases
Pondicherry111
Karaikal2
Mahe4
Yanam0

34761 178

3720 34

30449 142

592 2

DistrictCases
Anjaw0
Changlang31
Dibang Valley0
East Kameng0
East Siang1
Kamle0
KraDaadi0
KurungKumey0
Leparada0
Lohit3
Longding0
Lower Dibang Valley0
Lower Siang0
Lower Subansiri0
Namsai2
PakkeKessang1
Papum Pare8
Shi Yomi0
Siang0
Tawang1
Tirap0
Upper Siang1
Upper Subansiri0
West Kameng0
West Siang1

14668 88

2008

12623 143

37 1

DistrictCases
Dimapur20
Kiphire3
Kohima7
Longleng0
Mokokchung0
Mon8
Peren2
Phek1
Tuensang3
Wokha0
Zunheboto0

8894 70

1763

7096 151

35 1

DistrictCases
Dadra And Nagar Haveli20

3243 6

49

3192 8

2

DistrictCases
Ranchi148
Bokaro16
Deoghar5
Dhanbad32
Garhwa80
Giridih19
Hazaribagh110
Jamtara2
Koderma58
Simdega48
Chatra1
Dumka5
East Singhbum170
Godda2
Gumla28
Khunti10
Latehar14
Lohardaga8
Pakur4
Palamu27
Ramgarh75
Sahebganj0
SaraikelaKharsawan20
West Singhbhum21

100964 395

5294

94787 461

883 3

DistrictCases
Gomati74
North Tripura14
Dhalai196
Khowai24
Sepahijala174
South Tripura53
Unakoti49
West Tripura45

30663 97

1580

28737 212

346 1

DistrictCases
Kargil77
LehLadakh43

6139 54

627

5438 69

74

DistrictCases
Anantnag395
Bandipora175
Shopian255
Srinagar300
Baramulla271
Budgam110
Ganderbal37
Jammu138
Kathua53
Kulgam295
Kupwara231
Rajouri39
Ramban151
Reasi26
Samba25
Udhampur155
Mirpur0
Muzaffarabad0
Doda27
Kishtwar10
Poonch35
Pulwama108

93764 551

6928

85370 588

1466 11

DistrictCases
Chamba29
Hamirpur117
Kangra105
Sirmaur11
Solan32
Una41
Bilaspur21
Kinnaur2
Kullu4
Lahaul And Spiti0
Mandi21
Shimla10

21476 327

2768 122

18402 199

306 6

DistrictCases
Jalandhar297
Ludhiana293
Patiala132
Amritsar485
Barnala25
Faridkot74
Firozepur50
Gurdaspur154
Hoshiarpur140
Kapurthala44
Mansa31
Moga65
Pathankot86
S.A.S Nagar137
Sangrur107
Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr)99
Sri Muktsar Sahib71
Tarn Taran163
Bathinda60
Fatehgarh Sahib57
Fazilka53
Rupnagar (Ropar)74

132727 464

4266 27

124293 427

4168 10

DistrictCases
Haridwar94
Dehradun370
Nainital323
Almora71
Bageshwar31
Chamoli36
Champawat45
PauriGarhwal36
Pithoragarh43
Rudraprayag30
Tehri Garhwal110
Udam Singh Nagar83
Uttar Kashi24

61566 305

3545

57012 456

1009

DistrictCases
Bishnupur7
Chandel5
Churachandpur32
Imphal East10
Imphal West21
Jiribam3
Kakching2
Kamjong5
Kangpokpi26
Noney1
Pherzawl3
Senapati6
Tamenglong2
Tengnoupal9
Thoubal18
Ukhrul4

18051 242

4308 75

13583 163

160 4

DistrictCases
Chandigarh313

14292 80

665 36

13402 43

225 1

DistrictCases
East Khasi Hills22
East Garo Hills0
East Jaintia Hills0
North Garo Hills1
Ribhoi0
South Garo Hills0
South West Garo Hills4
South West Khasi Hills0
West Garo Hills5
West Jaintia Hills1
West Khasi Hills1

9303 77

1326

7890 113

87 2

DistrictCases
Aizawl10
Champhai0
Hnahthial0
Khawzawl0
Kolasib11
Lawngtlai2
Lunglei2
Mamit8
Saiha0
Saitual1
Serchhip0

2694 38

435 18

2258 20

1

DistrictCases
Lakshadweep District0

0

0

0

0