Kerala awaits approval from Drug Controller for plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients

Kerala received a nod from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to research on plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patients and now the state is awaiting an approval for the same from the Drug Controller of India that is expected on Friday.

Thereby, Kerala will be the first state in the country to conduct the test called convalescent plasma therapy against the coronavirus disease.

In the test, specific components from the blood of the people who recovered from the disease will be transfused into those who have contracted the virus.

The recovered patient’s plasma would be rich in antibodies and is believed to help the infected patients.

“We have to get blood transfusion norms relaxed. Normally a healthy person is allowed to give blood for transfusion and other tests but here a person who recently recovered will have to bleed,” Dr Asha Kishore, director of Sree Chithira Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), the nodal agency to conduct the test, said.

The donor has to be a patient who has fully recovered and shows no symptoms of the infection post 14 days isolation after getting discharged from the hospital, she said. Also the blood group of both will have to be compatible.