COVID-19: PGI Chandigarh to Continue with Convalescent Plasma Therapy

Days after the effectiveness of Convalescent Plasma Therapy in reducing mortality came under question, the PGIMER (Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research) Chandigarh will continue to administer plasma to COVID infected patients despite unfavourable results from ICMR’s trials.

Recently, in a trial which was conducted across 39 public and private hospitals to study the effectiveness of plasma therapy, it was found that convalescent plasma therapy neither reduces mortality rate nor slows down the progression of disease from mild to severe. The study appeared on medRxiv and is not yet peer reviewed.

To continue on a set of patients

Although the results of the trial were not promising yet the institute will continue the plasma therapy on a set of patients fitting into the criteria and wherever a physician feels that it can yield better results, said Pankaj Malhotra, who is a professor and was the Principal Investigator of the trial.

Further, the professor added ‘Rather than doing nothing, we can actually do something & try this therapy’. Certain symptoms like fever & fatigue were treated faster with this therapy.

Discretion of the physician

Sharing details, Prof Ratti Ram Sharma, Head of Transfusion Medicine Department said there is no treatment for COVID-19 & everything is on trial mode.

The plasma therapy should be given on the discretion of the physician and to those who fit in the category, he added. Besides this, he cautioned against use of therapy as an over the counter drug.

10 plasma units available

PGIMER has 10 plasma units ready & can be administered to any Covid patient in need.

The institute has announced creation of a plasma bank facility to cater to the needs of patients admitted there as well as in other government and private hospitals of the city on a first come, first serve basis.

PGIMER one of the centres of trial

PGIMER was among one of the centres for the trial to study the effectiveness of plasma therapy. It enrolled around 9 patients, out of which 5 were given plasma and the rest were on the control arm.

In some cases, the patients were taken off the oxygen therapy in just three days and gradually, their condition improved with the aid of supportive care.

Source: Hindustan Times

Image Credits: Google Images