The first patient who was administered Plasma Therapy at Max Hospital, Saket in Delhi, has shown positive results and was recently weaned off ventilator support.
The 49-year-old, male patient from Delhi who had tested COVID-19 positive on April 4th, was admitted at the COVID facility at Max Hospital, Saket, East Block with moderate symptoms and a history of fever and respiratory issues, the same day.
His condition deteriorated during the next few days and he soon required external oxygen to maintain saturation. He soon developed pneumonia with Type I respiratory failure and had to be put on ventilator support on April 8th. When the patient showed no improvement in his condition, his family requested the hospital for administration of plasma therapy on compassionate grounds, a first of its kind treatment modality that was used for this disease in India.
The family came forward to arrange a donor for extracting plasma. The donor had recovered from the infection (confirmed by two consecutive negative reports) three weeks ago and again tested COVID-19 negative at the time of donation along with other standard tests to rule out infections like Hep B, Hep C, and HIV. The 49-year-old critically ill patient was administered fresh plasma as a treatment modality as a side-line to standard treatment protocols on the night of April 14th, Tuesday.
After receiving the treatment, the patient showed progressive improvement and by the fourth day, was weaned off ventilator support on the morning of April 18th, Saturday and continued on supplementary oxygen, thereafter. He has been shifted to a room with round-the-clock monitoring at present. He has started taking oral feed since Sunday and is faring well.
Speaking on the success of the first case administered under Plasma Therapy, Dr. Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director – Max Healthcare & Senior Director – Institute of Internal Medicine said, “We are delighted that the therapy worked well in his case, opening a new treatment opportunity during these challenging times. But it is important that we also understand that Plasma Therapy is no magic bullet. During the patient’s treatment at Max Hospital, Saket, other standard treatment protocols were followed and we can say that Plasma Therapy could have worked as a Catalyst in speeding up his recovery. We cannot attribute 100% recovery to Plasma Therapy only, as there are multiple factors that carved his path to recovery.”
He said that one donor can donate 400ml of Plasma which can save two lives.
He further added, “In a country like India, a therapy of such kind has a good potential to help COVID-19 patients who have disease severity which fits into moderate to severe category. Government regulations should work towards making it more accessible for hospitals across the country to be able to use it. One donor can donate 400ml of Plasma which can save two lives, as 200ml is sufficient to treat one patient.”
The patient is now doing well and his two consecutive COVID-19 tests have come negative.
Also read: Coronavirus: 80% cases asymptomatic, but no need to revise testing criteria, says ICMR