Plasma therapy no longer part of India's COVID treatment protocol
Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) did not find a mention in the new list of COVID-19 guidelines, issued on May 17 by the COVID National Task Force, which had prescribed steps to handle the management of "mild, moderate and severe" COVID cases.
The decision was taken after thorough observation of several cases whereby the experimental procedure was found to be ineffective in reducing the progression to severe disease or fatalities.
The plasma therapy, which includes transfusion of COVID-19 antibodies from the blood of a recovered patient to the one being treated, had gained momentum last year just during the onset of the pandemic.
However, at a meeting on May 14, all the members of the task force, which includes experts from AIIMS, ICMR-COVID-19 National Task Force, and Joint Monitoring Group of Union Health Ministry, were in favour of removing plasma therapy from the treatment guidelines of adult COVID-19 patients citing its ineffectiveness and inappropriate use in several cases.
The development comes just days after a group of medical practitioners wrote to Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan, cautioning against the 'irrational and non-scientific use' of convalescent plasma for COVID-19.
Last week, a paper was published on Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy trial – named RECOVERY – in the medical journal The Lancet. The trial which is still underway at 177 NHS hospitals across the UK said, "RECOVERY is the largest randomised trial to report results of the effect of convalescent plasma in patients hospitalised with COVID-19."
"We found that compared with usual care alone, high-titre convalescent plasma did not reduce 28-day mortality, the probability of discharge within 28 days, or the probability of progressing to the composite outcome of invasive mechanical ventilation or death in patients who were not receiving invasive mechanical ventilation at randomisation," the journal said.
"We saw no evidence of any material benefit or hazard of convalescent plasma in any patient subgroup."
Earlier, India’s ICMR-PLACID trial, as well as Argentina’s PlasmAr Trial have also shown that plasma therapy has no benefit on hospitalised COVID patients.
(Edited by Aparmita Das)
TNT-The Northeast Today is now on WhatsApp. CLICK HERE to receive more updates on your phone.