Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital has become the first hospital in Gujarat to start clinical trials for using convalescent plasma therapy on COVID-19 patients from Sunday. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved the use of convalescent plasma therapy for the treatment of coronavirus positive patients.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) commissioner Vijay Nehra said that the approval was given on Saturday. A proposal was presented before the Centre and the ICMR about a week ago.
For the first trial, doctors have extracted plasma from 24-year-old Smruti Thakkar, a COVID-19 patient who was discharged from the hospital on April 6 after she tested negative post-treatment.
Ethics Committee of NHL Municipal Medical College has approved Research Protocols and trial of Plasma Study at SVP Hospital for COVID Patients' treatment sponsered by AMC MEDICAL EDUCATION TRUST. @vnehra
— Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Hospital (@svphospital) April 19, 2020
According to doctors, the plasma therapy involves an attempt to increase the immunity of a patient by infusing blood plasma of a person who has recovered from COVID-19.
A person can become a donor only 14 days after he/she has reported full recovery.
The treatment is used in several countries around the world.
On Saturday night, Nehra took to social media to thank Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani for the intervention and announced the approval from the ICMR. He said that the donor had been identified, her consent was obtained, the donation was completed and tests are underway. “Hope to start trials tmrw (sic),” he wrote.
In response to Nehra’s message, Thakkar thanked the authorities for the treatment given to her to recover from COVID-19 and went on to say that she wished that through plasma therapy they can save everyone’s life. “I would request all the patients to donate your plasma as it can save the life of critical patients,” she appealed.