Gujarat started the clinical trial of convalescent plasma therapy, with two COVID-19 patients at Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation-run SVP Hospital being transfused with plasma from recovered patients.
The condition of the patients—a man and woman, both aged 50 years – were stable, Principal Health Secretary Jayanti Ravi said.
While the first transfusion was conducted Monday night, the transfusion for the second patient was conducted on Tuesday.
The two donors were a 34-year-old woman and a 24-year-old woman, who got discharged from the SVP Hospital after recovery on March 29 and April 6 respectively.
On Saturday, the AMC-run hospital had received approval from the ICMR to start clinical trials of plasma therapy.
“After an MoU between the SVP Hospital and the ICMR, there was continuous communication between the hospital and the research council since the last two days. After getting approval from the ethics committee of NHL Municipal Medical College, the first transfusion was conducted late Monday night,” said Ahmedabad Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nehra.
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.
Two doses of 200 ml convalescent plasma each from a recovered COVID-19 patient, can be administered to a patient under treatment.
The plasma therapy research is under trial officially under the scientific title of “A Phase II, Open Label, Randomized Controlled Trial to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Convalescent Plasma to Limit COVID-19 Associated Complications in Moderate Disease”.
The NHL Municipal Medical College, attached to the SVP Hospital, is one of the two collaborators of the multicentre study, according to the National Informatics Centre-hosted Clinical Trials Registry website.
The second collaborator is the Department of Immunohematology and Transfusion Medicine, at SMS medical College in Jaipur, which is yet to receive the nod from their internal ethics committee to start the trial.
Dr Janak Khambholja of NHL Medical College will be the principal investigator of the study, while Dr Nilesh Suthar, Dr Cherry Shah and Dr Sankat Shah from the hospital will be co-investigators.
The therapy can be administered to only those who are not on support of ventilator or oxygen. The clinical trial should not be conducted on pregnant women or breastfeeding women, critically-ill patients or those with moderate to severe acute respiratory disease syndrome.
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