Bhopal: Two Muslim doctors, who have fully recovered from coronavirus and have completed their 14-day quarantine period, became the first donors of plasma in Indore for trial treatment of three patients.
With COVID-19-positive cases surpassing the 1,200 mark in the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh, doctors turned to plasma therapy from Sunday.
The therapy was started at the Aurobindo Hospital, a couple of days after Health Minister Narottam Mishra sought permission for the same from his counterpart at the Centre, Harsh Vardhan, during a video conference.
Dr Izhar Md Munshi and Dr Iqbal Qureshi donated their plasma for the treatment of three patients -- Kapil Bhalla, an engineer with Indore Development Authority, and locals Priyal Jain and Anees Jain. The first doses were given by Dr Ravi Dosi and Dr Satish Johi.
Still in the trial stage, plasma therapy uses antibodies developed within an infected person on another person who has tested positive for the virus.
These antibodies are part of the body’s natural immune response to a foreign pathogen like novel coronavirus and work to end this virus from body of the patient who is under plasma therapy. Those patients who have recovered completely donate their blood for treatment of the others.
The doctors, however, said it would be premature to say anything on the success of the therapy, adding after three to five days, these patients would be offered another dose of plasma depending upon their reports.
The doctors are now trying to reach out to individuals who have recovered and can donate their plasma to other patients.
One of the donors, Dr Izhar Qureshi, is hopeful of the success of the therapy and said he would soon start a campaign to raise awareness for plasma donation.
However, experts said the therapy comes along with concerns like transfer of inadvertent blood infection, enhancement of infection or adverse impact on immune system of the patient.
It was earlier used during the treatment of Ebola virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish flu, H1N1, SARS outbreak, Measles, HIV, polio and mumps.
With this, Madhya Pradesh joined Karnataka and Delhi where trials of the therapy have already been conducted. Bihar and Kerala have also expressed their eagerness to initiate the therapy in their respective states as significant improvement have been seen in at least four serious patients over the past few days.
Indore has so far seem 1,207 cases and 60 deaths with 31 new patients testing positive on Sunday. As many as 5,892 samples have been tested till now with another 2,000 samples lined up for screening.
Indore District Collector Manish Singh has hinted at another surge in the number of cases, while urging residents not to panic. He said things are under control and hectic testing is underway.
In Bhopal, the Gandhi Medical College and Chirayu Hospital have sought sought permission from ICMR for similar trials on COVID-19 patients.