Delhi: 4 patients undergo plasma therapy at LNJP hospital
New Delhi - Three of the four COVID-19 patients, who received plasma therapy at a Delhi government hospital, were elderly ones while the fourth one was in his mid-30s, officials said on Friday.
Four serious COVID-19 patients admitted at the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan Hospital of the Delhi government have been given plasma therapy as part of a trial to assess its efficacy on such patients. "Plasma therapy has been started on four patients at LNJP Hospital.
All these patients are elderly except one patient, who is aged about 35," a senior official of the hospital said. LNJP Hospital is a dedicated COVID-19 facility in the national capital.
"The patients are showing fair response to the treatment.
It will, however, be premature to comment upon the efficacy of the treatment based on the response of four patients," the official said.
More plasma patients, as well as donors, are in the pipeline, hospital authorities said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the plasma therapy trial conducted on the four COVID-19 patients here has yielded "very encouraging" initial results, giving a ray of hope to seriously ill coronavirus patients.
Addressing an online media briefing, Kejriwal said more clinical trials of plasma therapy will take place over the next two-three days, and his government will seek the Centre''s nod next week for using the technique on all seriously ill COVID-19 patients in the city.
The chief minister expressed hope that the Union government will give a go-ahead to the treatment regimen. He was joined by S K Sarin, director of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS) here, during the briefing.
The four patients who were given plasma therapy have shown improvement in their health condition, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation, Kejriwal said.
Two of the four patients, whose condition was serious, have now been shifted to general ward from the ICU and two others are also responding well, he said. Sarin said donating plasma would be an act of patriotism by recovered patients.
It does not lead to any physical weakness to the donor, he said.
"It is not blood donation... Plasma therapy is also inexpensive," he said. Recently, a COVID-19 patient at Max hospital here, who was administered plasma therapy, had shown signs of improvement, and was taken off ventilator support.
The 49-year-old, male patient from Delhi who had tested positive for coronavirus infection on April 4 was admitted at the dedicated COVID facility in East Block of Max Hospital, Saket, with moderate symptoms and a history of fever and respiratory issues, the same day.
Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director, Max Healthcare, had 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 one can say that the plasma therapy could have worked as a catalyst in speeding up his recovery, he added.
"We cannot attribute 100 per cent recovery to plasma therapy only, as there are multiple factors which carved his path to recovery," he said. Budhiraja said, "one donor can donate 400 ml of plasma which can save two lives, as 200 ml is sufficient to treat one patient".
The total number of coronavirus cases in the national capital on Friday rose to 2,514, with 138 new cases and three fresh fatalities, taking the death toll from COVID-19 in the city to 53, according to the Delhi government authorities.