Plasma therapy may be useful for COVID-19 treatment if positioned properly: AIIMS director
New Delhi - Even as the Indian Council of Medical Research announced that plasma therapy may soon be discontinued from the Covid-19 national treatment protocol, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi's Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Thursday said that it's too early to comment on the government body's observation and more data needs to be studied.
"Plasma isn't a magic bullet. We've to position it properly where it may be useful, rather than saying everyone will benefit from it. What we're learning from COVID is that, treatment may be useful if the timing is proper," Dr Guleria told ANI.
The AIIMS director said that there was a need to look at more data to decide conclusively.
"I think we need to look at more data. In the ICMR study, a large number of patients who were given plasma already had antibodies in their blood. We know that if you already have antibodies then giving antibodies from outside through plasma may not be of that much use. That is why most of the studies now suggest that plasma given early before a person's own antibiotics have found may be useful," he said.
He observed that in the treatment of COVID-19 infection, it is crucial to give the treatment at the right time.
"If it's given too late it may not be of much use and if given too early it may be more harmful," he said.
Recently, ICMR chief announced that Convalescent Plasma Therapy may be removed from the national guideline for the treatment of novel Coronavirus after an ICMR study revealed that it did not help in reducing mortality or slow the progression of Covid-19.
Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General of ICMR in a Union health ministry's briefing said: "We are discussing with the national task force on COVID19 management and with the joint monitoring group that may be deleted from the national treatment guidelines on COVID."
The investigational therapy uses antibodies from the blood of a recovered COVID-19 positive patient and transmits it into the body of patients critical of the same infection.
With exact remedy to eradicate or cure SARCOV2 virus unavailable, ages-old convalescent plasma therapy emerged as a treatment for COVID patients.