Plasma Therapy Dropped From The Clinical Protocol

On Monday, the Union government’s topmost medical advisory announced that the country has dropped convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) from its national clinical management protocol for Covid-19, which is used to treat covid patients by using blood plasma from recovered patients. The AIIMS-ICMR Covid-19 National Task Force and the Health Ministry have took the decision of dropping it from the centre’s list of covid treatments in the view that the CPT no longer has therapeutic benefits in patients.

The national task force said that the experimental method is not effective in reducing the progression of the disease or fatalities. In fact, the last week’s meeting which consisted of many task force members, senior officials, scientists and top doctors, gave a nod for removing plasma therapy from the treatment guidelines. Earlier, this procedure was on guidelines because it was believed to be effective on moderate patients by using recovered patients’ blood plasma within seven days of the onset of symptoms.

The clinical study findings showed that high-titre convalescent plasma did not reduce 28-day mortality. “In patients hospitalised with Covid-19, high-titre convalescent plasma did not improve survival or other prespecified clinical outcomes,” the researchers said. A group of scientists had written to Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan, warning against the “irrational and non-scientific use” of the procedure in the country.

“We are writing to you as concerned clinicians, public health professionals and scientists from India about the irrational and non-scientific use of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 in the country…This has stemmed from guidelines issued by government agencies, and we request your urgent intervention to address the issue which can prevent harassment of COVID-19 patients, their families, their clinicians and COVID-19 survivors,” the letter read.

Not so long ago, the studies also documented no significant benefits in China and the Netherlands, stating that there was no improvement in clinical outcomes in hospitalised Covid-19 patients. Ever since the second wave began, we have seen thousands of families and celebrities writing on social media daily to request plasma donations and arrange it for the same.

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