As people around the world wait for the cure of COVID-19, medical research world is working for the drugs or vaccines to treat this deadly virus, which has the potential to affect millions of people. COVID-19 has already affected more than 800,000 across the globe.
It is claimed that COVID-19 vaccine in America is going under trial process. Russia and Germany also claim that they are working on potential vaccine to treat COVID-19 patients. In these uncertain circumstances, blood plasma of the people recovered from COVID-19 might help to cure sick people.
How Blood plasma infusion works?
Blood plasma infusion works on the medical process known as passive immunity. People who recover from an infection develop antibodies that circulate in their blood and can neutralize the pathogen. These antibodies fight against the pathogen that can be a virus or any other pathogen.
Blood plasma is basically a clear liquid that is left behind when blood cells are removed. Plasma infusion to the patient of the same disease helps to increase the patient’s ability to fight the virus. This process boosts the immunity of the patient. This method has been successfully used for the treatment of flu, mumps, polio and measles.
Blood Plasma Therapy on COVID-19 Patients is Helpful?
Arturo Casadevall, chair of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health stated that “The recovered people could have in their blood something that could be very useful. The history is this has been used in 120 years in medicine, and it is well-known.” In UK, doctors are planning to perform blood plasma therapy on COVID-19 patients and health workers to save their lives.
This experiment will be conducted on the patients who are infected with pneumonia caused by the corona virus. This will help to reduce to number of the patients who end up on ventilators in intensive care units (ICUs). This treatment will also be carried out on the people who are in close contact with COVID-19 patients such as their immediate family members and healthcare staff. This effort is directed to reduce the spread of virus and release the pressure on health services.
This procedure depends highly on the fact that people who have recovered from Covid-19 have antibodies in their blood plasma that can fight against the infection. The aim is to identify those who have immunity against the virus and invite them to donate blood for the treatment. Prior to the infusion, plasma will be screened to ensure that it is safe to transfuse. Healthcare institutions have already started working on finding potential donors for the treatment.
The UK effort has been powered by collaboration in the US in which 100 laboratories have joined forces to produce convalescent plasma for patients pouring into hospitals across the country. After receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration, doctors in the US are now able to give plasma to patients under compassionate use rules. Chinese are also using this treatment and they have produced successful results.
Pakistan is also about to experiment with this passive immunity procedure on infected patients. On 30th March, Sindh government-approved efforts to experiment with the use of this therapy to treat coronavirus patients across the province. The technique will also be presented to other provinces for approval before a detailed strategy regarding it can be implemented in hospitals across the country.
Healthcare experts say this technique is used when there is a high risk of infection and insufficient time for the infected body to develop its own immunity, or to reduce the symptoms of the already present disease.
by: Abeer Arshad
Related Article: Convalescent Plasma Therapy For COVID 19 Treatment