Karnataka issues fresh guidelines for plasma therapy for Covid-19 patients

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The guidelines have been issued by the state health department in the wake of permission given by the central government for “off-label” use of plasma therapy

The Karnataka government has issued fresh guidelines for convalescent plasma therapy for patients with moderate symptoms of coronavirus with a provision to start the therapy before the patients go into multiple organ failure.

The guidelines have been issued by the state health department in the wake of permission given by the central government for “off-label” use of plasma therapy. The union health ministry endorsed off-label use of convalescent plasma saying it “may be considered in patients with moderate disease who are not improving (oxygen requirement is progressively increasing) despite use of steroids”.

The Karnataka released standard operating procedure for Covid Convalescent plasma (CCP), stating one or two therapeutic units of 200-250ml should be administered 24 hours apart, depending on the condition of the patient, said a Times of India report.

To attract donations, the state government has assured Rs.5, 000 for the nutrition and care of each donor. Donors — men or women who weigh more than 50kg — in the age group of 18-60 years, should preferably have symptoms. A separate consent form with the tag “off-label” is required.

The plasma therapy, which is still in investigational stage in the country, is based on the principle that when a person is infected with the coronavirus, his/ her immune system creates antibodies to fight the virus. These antibodies build up over time and are accumulated in the plasma. Plasma refers to the liquid element in the blood.

Many doctors believe that plasma therapy will be helpful for COVID-19 patients who cannot be benefited by other treatment forms. The therapy is being used for the treatment of severe cases for the last two months.

Image Credit: Business Standard

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