Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 30
The Union Government on Tuesday said blood banks in the country could collect convalescent plasma from patients cured of coronavirus only after treatment efficacy of the plasma modality is firmly established.
The Ministry of Health, in revised national guidelines related to blood transfusion services, said it would issue guidelines for convalescent plasma collection after the trial on plasma therapy is over and the treatment is approved by relevant authorities.
The advisory is crucial as it comes amid growing demand for convalescent plasma—which is not currently proven to be a treatment for COVID-19.
The ICMR Clinical Management Protocol for COVID allows plasma therapy as an experimental therapy in trial mode at select hospitals.
The Drug Controller General of India has issued a detailed protocol on which COVID patient can be recruited for plasma therapy trial and how.
Not everyone can take plasma therapy, Ministry sources said.
The new guidelines by the government seek to caution gullible people who are frantically searching for plasma donors and are not aware of the modalities the treatment in India.
A multicentric plasma therapy trial is underway in some Indian hospitals and results from the trial are yet to be published.
The guidance reiterated that there was no current evidence of blood transfusion linked transmission of respiratory viruses.
The guidance also asked blood banks to be ready with systems for plasma extraction should the trial results of the therapy be encouraging and should the government allow the use of this therapy as a treatment modality in India.
Currently, plasma therapy remains an untested experimental therapy being tried on select recruited COVID patients who are hospitalised with poor respiratory parameters.
Whether plasma helped these patients is yet to be known.
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