Till date, there is no vaccine available to treat the coronavirus. In this situation, doctors and scientists are working on the trail of plasma therapy as an alternative treatment for corona patients. Especially in case of severely infected corona patients, plasma therapy has come as a handy treatment.
What is Plasma Therapy
Plasma therapy is in the news these days. It is seen as an effective way of treating corona patient. In Plasma Therapy, antibodies of the person who has recovered from corona infection are used to provide treatment to other patients. These antibodies are produced in the body of the patients suffering from corona and fight against the virus. Thus, these antibodies play an important role in recovering from the infection. Once the patient recovers, these antibodies remain in his body. In the case of a new patient of coronavirus with low immunity, the antibodies are not produced immediately. Due to the delay in the formation of antibodies, the condition of the patient becomes serious.
In such cases, the antibodies of the fully-recovered patient are used to provide treatment to serious patients. Antibodies provided to sick patients help in fighting with virus infection and increases the chance of recovery.
Why Doctors are optimistic about Plasma Therapy as a Treatment for Corona Patients
Plasma therapy has been used for years, which has benefited many people. Because of its benefits, doctors consider plasma therapy as a good treatment for corona patients. Some of the benefits of plasma therapy are-
- Increases Immunity immediately – This help is fighting the virus inside the body. This could be highly effective for serious patients.
- Time-saving- The whole process of extracting plasma from the donor’s blood to injecting the same to corona patient takes between 3 to 5 hours only.
- Early Result –While taking oral medicine take a longer time to give result, plasma therapy can give a faster result on corona patients.
- Painless Treatment – Another benefit of plasma therapy is not feeling pain. When this therapy is done, the people doing it do not feel any kind of pain.
What is plasma
Our blood contains four things, RBC, WBC, platelets and plasma. It is made up of water and protein that provides a medium for circulating RBC, WBC and platelets through the body. It also contains important components of immunity known as antibodies.
What is antibody
The antibody is a protein produced in our body. It helps in fighting against external harmful elements called antigens. Our immune systems make antibodies to fight when antigens enter the body.
How Plasma Therapy Works on Corona Patients
In fact, a person who recovers from coronavirus infection has a strong immunity against the virus. This immunity is due to the presence of antibodies. After 14 days of recovery, a person can give his blood for plasma extraction. In this technique, blood is extracted from a patient who is cured with coronavirus. The serum is then separated and tested for antibodies that neutralize the virus. This Serum containing antibodies is then given to a patient severely suffering from coronavirus. Once this plasma is given to the coronavirus infected person, it works as an antibody and helps in faster recovery. The plasma that contains antibodies, help in increasing the immunity and fights with the virus.
What is the Process for Plasma Therapy Trail on Corona Patient
The testing trials for plasma therapy has started world-wide. Plasma therapy is now seen as a new way of treatment for the coronavirus. So far the trial has given positive results. Many corona patients in India and other countries have been cured with plasma therapy trial. Countries like USA and UK where corona patients are increasing rapidly have also started a trail of plasma therapy and showing positive results. As per a report, some patients in China benefited from it. However, at this point in time, it cannot be clearly stated how effective plasma treatment would be. Currently, in India ICMR and DGCI will approve it only after the successful trials.
Limitation of Plasma Therapy
Out of the blood given by one person, 400 ml of plasma can be taken out. Plasma taken out from the blood of one recovered person can be used for the treatment of two patients suffering from coronavirus infection.
Doctors believe that more trial is necessary for plasma therapy, but there is a severe shortage of donors. Plasma donor should come forward for this and should understand that donating blood does not cause weakness. In the case of plasma, one can donate blood twice a week.
Future of Plasma Therapy
Since coronavirus is a new virus, it will take time to get a vaccine invented for this. Till the time a vaccine comes, plasma therapy can be a good way of treatment. For this, more trails are needed.
Risks Associated with Plasma Therapy
Like any other medical procedure, plasma therapy also has some potential dangers (like infection, blood clotting, dizziness etc.) that need to be taken care while performing.