Fortis brings new hope for COVID19 patients in Noida

Noida: This year, Doctor’s day at Fortis Hospital, Noida was very different. For the first time in Noida, Fortis Hospital conducted Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) in a 63-year-old patient infected with COVID19. The patient has shown positive signs of recovery post the therapy. Dr Mrinal Sircar, Director and Head, Department of Pulmonology and Critical care, Fortis Hospital, Noida and his team conducted the procedure.

Plasma is the transparent liquid left behind after red and white blood cells and platelets are removed from the blood. In Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT), antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 are taken and transfused into a coronavirus infected patient to boost the immune system and thereby fight the infection. It is being considered for treatment for moderate COVID-19 patients with decreasing oxygen levels. In the current pandemic situation, it is presently being permitted by the Health Ministry as an investigational therapy to treat COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Mrinal Sircar, Director and Head, department of Pulmonology and Critical care at Fortis Hospital, Noida said, “Patients tested through Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), confirmed as COVID-19 and who are more than 18 years having worsening oxygen levels are suitable candidates for Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT), especially within one week of symptom onset. However, this is subjected to availability of matched donor plasma. However, patients with known hypersensitivity to blood products, those who have received pooled immunoglobulin/ plasma infusion in last 30 days, critically ill patients with severe Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and shock and those with clinical status precluding infusion of blood products (like encephalopathy, renal failure) should not be administered CPT. But a majority of the adverse effects associated with plasma transfusion are non-lethal; medically treatable”.

As per the DGHS, Govt. of India notification, Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) has been indicated as an ‘Off label” use in COVID-19 patients. At present, there are no definitive therapeutic options for critically ill COVID‐19 contracted patients. But based on the consolidated clinical data derived from five independent studies of 27 patients, in addition to antiviral/antimicrobial drugs, CPT could be an effective therapeutic option with promising evidence on safety, improvement of clinical symptoms, and reduced mortality. Recently, as suggested by the Food and Drug Administration, administration and study of investigational Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) may provide a clinical effect for treatment of COVID‐19 during a public health emergency.

Dr. Seema Sinha, Director, Blood Bank, Fortis Hospital, Noida said, “A potential donor should be less than 18 years of age, males or nulliparous female donors of weight less than 55Kg. There should be a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test of (RT-PCR) with symptomatic disease, fever and cough and complete resolution of symptoms at least 28 days prior to donation or complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation and two negative real time PCR tests for COVID-19 from nasopharyngeal swab, collected 24 hours apart. In addition, donor eligibility criteria for whole blood donation will be followed in accordance to the Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940 and rules 1945 therein (as amended till March 2020)”.

Dr. Rajesh Gupta, Additional Director, Department of Pulmonology and Critical care at Fortis Hospital, Noida said, “Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) is a major addition to the armamentarium (including Remdesevir, Tocilizumab) in the management of Covid-19 patients in addition to the world class Intensive care being provided to critically ill COVID-19 patients at Fortis Hospital Noida. We take pride in the fact that Fortis Noida is the first to conduct this in Noida”.

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