Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-run SVP Hospital will start clinical trails to use convalescent plasma therapy on COVID-19 patients from Sunday, becoming the first hospital in the state to receive the approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
On Friday, the Drug Controller General of India had given its nod to the ICMR to carry out controlled clinical trials of the plasma therapy in select institutes across the country.
A proposal to allow plasma therapy at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital and SVP Hospital was submitted before the Centre and ICMR earlier this week. Follwing a push from the Gujarat Chief Minister’s office and a meeting with Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, the process was fast-tracked and the ICMR gave the approval on Saturday, Ahmedabd Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra said.
The therapy involves attempting to jump-start the immunity of a serious patient by infusing some of the blood plasma of a person who has already recovered from the disease.
For the clinical trail, the blood donation process of a recovered patient, a 24- year-old woman, was undertaken on Saturday.
The woman from Ahmedabad who tested positive on March 23 was discharged on April 6 from the SVP Hospital.
“We have donors ready. A donor has to report complete recovery, and can donate only after 14 days of reporting recovery. Following the ICMR approval, the woman was taken to Civil Hospital Ahmedabad for the plasma extraction process on Saturday. There will be RT-PCR test conducted to check for absence of the virus, the rapid antibody test to ensure presence of antibodies and other standard tests to ensure absence of HIV, malarial infection, haemoglobin levels, etc overnight,” Nehra said.
While the eligibility of donor as well as recipient will be decided by the doctors, the convalescent plasma therapy is expected to be used on mildly symptomatic patients at present.
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