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Convalescent Plasma Therapy for Coronavirus

Published On Apr 30, 2020 5:30 AM By Yamini Sharma

Convalescent Plasma Therapy for Coronavirus - Every mind across the world is consumed with ever-changing thoughts about the novel coronavirus. 

People want to know, “When will coronavirus eradicate?”, “When will everything come back to normal?” and more. 

Since none has answers to questions like such at present, the primary concern of every individual from different parts of the globe is, “When will we hear news about a feasible coronavirus treatment?”

Well, there may not be a definite treatment for coronavirus at the moment, but Convalescent Plasma Therapy is being seen as a ray of hope. 

Following China and the US, India has also given a green signal for framing a protocol to perform a clinical trial for convalescent plasma therapy for coronavirus.

But, what exactly is convalescent plasma therapy and how it can be beneficial for us during the coronavirus pandemic, let’s find out. 

Convalescent Plasma Therapy – Concept

In convalescent plasma therapy, a dose of antibody-containing plasma obtained from the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients is transferred to people critically affected by the virus.

An experimental therapy, with efficacy in the treatment of the Spanish flu, 2009 H1N1 influenza, HIV, Polio, and SARS & MERS viruses, convalescent plasma therapy is similar to passive immunization. In other words, it is a preventive measure and not a proper treatment of Covid-19 disease. 

Simple in its concept, convalescent plasma therapy for coronavirus is based on the assumption that the blood of a Covid-19 recovered person comprises antibodies, which possess the specific ability to fight novel coronavirus. 

In other words, according to the experts, immunity can be transferred from a healthy individual to a sick patient using convalescent plasma.

If researchers are to be believed, convalescent plasma therapy could help in shortening the period of coronavirus illness along with minimizing its risks. 

A prime feature of the plasma therapy for coronavirus is that it can be performed on both, recovering patients with severe symptoms and individuals who haven’t developed symptoms, but have been exposed to a carrier. 

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Convalescent Plasma Therapy – Procedure 

Once a Covid-19 patient has recovered, they are hooked up to a small device, which removes plasma while simultaneously returning red blood cells to the body. 

The anti-body rich plasma, after being checked for the existence of any other disease-causing agents like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, etc., is ingested into the body of a patient under treatment. 

Utilized for immunizing people at a high risk of contracting the deadly virus, the convalescent plasma therapy for coronavirus is not like regular blood donation, where donors have to wait for the red blood cells to fill up again. Donation of plasma can be done more frequently, such as twice in a week. 

Also, what’s great is that the plasma obtained from one recovered person can help two Covid-19 patients.

At last, the process of donating plasma takes around an hour. 

Don’t forget to read: This Is What Happens to Your Body After Coronavirus Contraction

How Convalescent Plasma Therapy Works?

The convalescent plasma therapy makes use of the antibodies developed within the body of Covid-19 infected person during the infection. 

Learn that these antibodies are developed in a coronavirus patient as part of the body's natural immune response to the presence of novel coronavirus. Antibodies, being highly specific to the invading pathogen or coronavirus, work towards the elimination of coronavirus from the patient's body. 

Once the anti-body rich plasma obtained from a recovered Covid-19 patient is transferred to a coronavirus patient, the antibodies start targeting and fighting the coronavirus present in the body of the patient. 

It is believed that when transferred, the antibodies start circulating in the blood and reaching tissues, thereby protecting against coronavirus infection. Protection obtained by the transfer of antibodies lasts from weeks to months, based on the antibody amount as well as composition. 

Convalescent Plasma Therapy – Risks Involved 

While convalescent plasma therapy has been a success in the past, it comes associated with a few risks that every individual should be aware of. 

The risk list includes: 

  • Increase in infection: The therapy might not be successful for some patients, thereby resulting in an enhanced form of the infection.

  • Transfer of blood substances: During the blood transfusion, there are chances of an accidental infection getting transferred to the patient.

  • Impact on the immune system: The administration of antibodies may end up suppressing the natural immune response of a body, thereby leaving a Covid-19 patient vulnerable to subsequent re-infection.

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Convalescent Plasma Therapy – Scenario in India

Studies are being conducted to test convalescent plasma against regular care in sick patients and to prevent infections among people who are at high risks, such as health care workers, families of sick coronavirus patients, and other high-risk contacts. 

Many states in India have commenced clinical trials for the therapy. 

While many recovered Covid-19 patients are turning up to donate their plasma for the recovery of others, the news of multiple Covid-19 patients being successfully recovered is expected to arrive soon from different parts of India. 

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Final Words

While convalescent plasma therapy may have come across as a breath of fresh air during the coronavirus pandemic, researchers believe that it is too early to declare the therapy as an effective treatment. 

However, it is important to note that the plasma therapy is in an experimental stage. Till it is approved, no one should use it for the treatment of coronavirus patients. It is harmful to the patient and illegal.

Hoping for the best in the days to come, we can only expect convalescent plasma therapy to turn out to be the ultimate savior in the times of Covid-19. 

In the meanwhile, we can practice as many as safety measures we can. 

Right from ensuring the proper use of masks to downloading Aarogya Setu App, every individual is advised to do whatever it takes to stay alert to stay safe from coronavirus. 

If you want the help of InsuranceDekho experts in securing your health against coronavirus, feel free to initiate contact at 7551196989. 

We would be happy to help you keep yourself as well as your loved ones safe.

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