Plasma Therapy an Alternative to Treat COVID-19

Plasma Therapy an Alternative to Treat COVID-19

Plasma Therapy an Alternative to Treat COVID-19

plasma therapy for COVID-19

Scientists from all over the world are working on a vaccine to save people from the devastation of Corona, which has killed millions of people worldwide, but it may take a long time before Corona’s effective vaccine or drug is available. This is the reason why plasma therapy is now being considered to be used to save the lives of corona patients. The biggest difference between the corona vaccine and this Plasma therapy is that after the Plasma therapy is applied, the patient’s immune system of the body starts making antibodies themselves, due to which the body can inactivate the bacteria or virus when an infection occurs.

On the other hand, antibodies given to the patient in plasma therapy are not permanently present in the body. Antibodies are special types of immune cells made of proteins, which in medical language are called ‘B-lymphocytes‘. Whenever a foreign organism enters the body, they are immediately alerted. These antibodies act by neutralizing the toxins released by bacteria or viruses in the body.

The trial of treatment of corona patients with blood plasma has been allowed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for use of this therapy. Now clinical trials will be done in five medical colleges and hospitals in the country.

Currently, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram, has been allowed to use this technology in a limited number as a clinical trial. Efforts are being made to adopt this therapy for the treatment of corona patients because:

four new corona patients can be treated with the blood of a single person who has recovered from the corona”

Up to 800 ml of plasma can be taken from a person’s blood and up to 200 ml of plasma can be plated to inject antibodies into the body of a corona infected patient. Antibodies can be taken from the body of a patient who has recovered from corona infection, 14 days after their recovery, and the person giving the plasma is thoroughly examined to ensure that he or she does not have any other disease.

Plasma Therapy in Various Countries

The news of saving the lives of some patients through the same plasma therapy came to light in the same China, which has gifted this deadly virus to the world. Chinese researchers have revealed that the lives of some serious corona patients who are treated with the help of ventilation were saved from convalescent plasma. According to the research, within 12 to 24 hours of this plasma therapy, the improvement was started in many serious patients. It is said that in February, about twenty such Chinese doctors and nurses donated their plasma, which was cured after being infected with corona.

Plasma Therapy an Alternative to Treat COVID-19

Convalescent Plasma Therapy

This plasma has been used on many Corona patients there and is said to have greatly helped in the treatment of patients. According to the doctors there, based on the preliminary results of the study of plasma therapy, the use of special plasma in the absence of a corona vaccine or effective medication is an effective way to treat corona patients. Following the claims of Chinese researchers, trials have started in the US and England on this therapy.

The University of Glasgow in the UK Prof. David Tepin has sought permission for a clinical trial from convalescent plasma at the National Institute of Health Studies. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also appealed to people who have recovered from Corona to donate plasma.

Plasma therapy has been in use for decades

It is not that the treatment of virus-infected patients is being considered for the first time through this therapy, rather this method has been adopted for nearly hundred years. The first information about the adoption of this method was by the United States in the treatment of Spanish flu spread in the year 1918. Thereafter, Hong Kong used plasma therapy in dealing with SARS in the year 2003-04, worldwide in the treatment of swine flu patients in 2009, and in 2014 for the treatment of Ebola patients based on the protocols of the World Health Organization.

Plasma Therapy an Alternative to Treat COVID-19

Plasma Samples to Treat COVID-19

During plasma therapy, ‘hyper-immune‘ individuals are identified, who is healthy after defeating the virus, and plasma is taken from their white blood. This plasma is called convalescent plasma. This plasma is injected into the body of a critically ill patient, after which the virus infected person’s body starts making antibodies to fight the virus in the blood. After starting the process of making antibodies, the body can fight the virus and the patient’s expectation of health increases.

How does Plasma Therapy work?

‘Plasma therapy’ works on the assumption that patients who have been cured of corona infection develop resistant antibodies (plasma) that neutralize the infection. The coronavirus present in the body of a new patient is eliminated through these antibodies by removing the plasma from the blood of cured patients. In this therapy, scientists remove blood from the corona body, and only the ingredients like plasma or platelets are removed from his blood and the remaining blood is returned to the donor’s body.

How does Plasma Therapy work?

Extracting Plasma from Blood

According to Dr. Naval Vikram of the AIIMS Department of Medicine, ‘Plasma therapy’ is not required to be given to all patients but to those who are in poor health, it is better if given to them. According to him, this therapy has already been used in many infectious diseases like SARS and swine flu.

Under plasma therapy, doctors collect the plasma of patients who recover after infection with the coronavirus, and then the plasma is offered to patients who are undergoing treatment for corona. With this, the patient’s immune system can start making more antibodies.

These antibodies begin to develop in a person’s body when the virus attacks their body. In such a situation, these antibodies attack the virus and neutralize it. To protect against the virus, an attempt is made to give passive immunity to the patient through this therapy.

Disease immunity that develops in a patient’s body after a plasma is delivered from a person’s body to a patient’s body, is called ‘passive immunity’. Doctors say that even when a patient is cured while fighting the coronavirus, these antibodies continue to flow in the blood for a long time in his body so that his body can detect and fight the virus immediately. Health experts from all over the world are now working in this direction to make it possible to treat new patients getting infected with the disease with the help of antibodies made in the body of the patients who have won the war from Corona.

How safe and effective is this Plasma Therapy?

In the year 2009-2010, the ‘H1N1 influenza’ epidemic had spread, then a large number of patients were treated by controlling the infection using plasma therapy. This therapy proved to be very helpful even during the Ebola epidemic. In case of any type of bacterial infection, there is every possibility of treating it with the already existing antibiotics, but when a new type of virus is formed due to infection or epidemic.

If there is no antiviral already available to control it. Plasma therapy is a great alternative in that case because to invent a vaccine or drug researchers spend a lot of time to come up with the antidote or vaccine and chances of succeeding in a short period is very low.

Antivirals take a long time to prevent such viruses and in the meantime, there will be a huge loss of life and property. In this case, the use of plasma therapy has proven to help limit this loss. However, it is not the case that everyone who wins a battle with Corona will be used in blood plasma therapy and this blood plasma will be offered to any patient. Every donor who has been cured with the coronavirus is taken blood only after doing all the necessary tests and is considered to offer this plasma to the same patient whose blood group matches the donor’s blood group.

Challenges of Plasma Therapy

This therapy is not very easy to use. There are many challenges. According to the World Health Organization, the use of blood plasma is correct according to the experiment, but for this, it is necessary to improve the patient’s immunity and doctors face a big challenge to increase the immunity of corona infected patients. The biggest challenge is to collect sufficient amounts of plasma from the blood of individuals who have won the war from the coronavirus.

Challenges of Plasma Therapy

Challenges of Plasma                       Therapy

According to Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergency Program, unless the vaccine is better prepared to treat corona, it is fine to use this therapy but it is not necessarily successful every time. Using this therapy, the biggest challenge is to cure corona patients who are older and struggling with diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. According to Dr. Ryan, hyper-immune globulin improves antibodies in patients, which improves the condition of patients.

He says that this therapy significantly damages the virus, which improves the patient’s immune system and may be able to fight the coronavirus, but it should be used at the right time. Some researchers say that there is no guarantee of long-term protection from the virus from passive immunity because the body won’t start making antibodies on its own, but with the help of external cells. According to some scientific theories, such disease immunity can remain in a person’s body for only a few months.

Plasma therapy vs. CoronaVirus

Some researchers say that in the case of corona infection, this therapy can be more effective because the virus attacks all the major organs of the body by damaging them and in this way, the antibodies can prevent the infection from spreading inside the body.

Plasma Therapy an Alternative to Treat COVID-19

Plasma Therapy an Alternative to Treat COVID-19

Plasma therapy is given only to high-risk patients. However, it is a big challenge for researchers to save the lives of corona patients through plasma therapy and if they get the expected success in these efforts, then it can be expected that it will prove to be lifesaving for those corona patients over 60 years of age, those who are at highest risk of life from the corona. If that happens, it would certainly be a huge victory in the ongoing global war against the Coronavirus.

Final Conclusion on Plasma Therapy:

There are already many people who cured of coronavirus are coming forward to donate plasma. A Doctor in Uttar Pradesh who was recovered from Covid-19  has Donated him plasma to continue clinical trials. Kerala is the first state to implement this in our country and the Tamilnadu government is also considering using plasma therapy. An Indian American group is also working on this therapy. 

There are many theories doing circles in the scientific community and many scientists and researchers are coming up with new technologies and also trying to cure the disease with the help of m-RNA technology. Some big pharmaceutical companies, as well as some small scale biotechnology firms, are working on clinical trials already. Alternatives drug usage is in full swing and all Pharma Drug export regulations & restrictions are lifted. Many countries are actively importing drugs from other nations.

“Our Scientist Garrisons are battling an incredible war against Corona demon”

Corona crumbled the world with its invasion and humans will win this war, maybe not immediately but definitely!! It may take some time to come up with a vaccine or drug, but Human Beings should learn from their mistakes at least now. Protecting Mother Nature is the need of the hour or else more pandemics will hit the world for sure. However, the rise of viruses is a human error. It means that nature is resisting in the form of the corona. So we can survive only if we correct the mistakes that we have made!! I wonder how our ancients faced this kind of pandemics during their Age!!

References:

  • https://www.sanjeevnitoday.com/world/plasma-therapy-will-be-made-for-severe-corona-patients/20200426/348398
  • https://www.hss.edu/condition-list_prp-injections.asp
  • https://www.news18.com/news/india/tamil-nadu-awaits-nod-for-plasma-therapy-treatment-for-covid-19-patients-may-start-trials-in-1-week-2594239.html
  • https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=160&ContentID=37
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasmapheresis
  • https://www.ndtv.com/lucknow-news/coronavirus-uttar-pradesh-lucknow-doctor-who-recovered-from-covid-19-donates-blood-for-plasma-therap-2218755
  • https://www.livemint.com/news/india/indian-american-group-sets-up-covid-19-plasma-therapy-programme-11587964176863.html

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