Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College to start plasma therapy

Aligarh: The Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC), Aligarh Muslim University will start convalescent plasma therapy for the treatment of Covid19 patients with moderate disease. In this connection, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor has also approved the purchase of a plasma apheresis machine for JNMC Hospital Blood Bank at the cost of Rs 29 lakhs.

Prof Tariq Mansoor, Vice Chancellor, also a surgeon said: “In the limited studies, globally, convalescent plasma as an adjunct to other supportive therapies and treatments has shown some benefit in the management of Covid19 patients”.

He pointed out that to volunteer as a plasma donor, one must be fit and healthy, be aged 17 or over and should have a large enough blood volume, calculated by height and weight before being invited to donate.

The Vice Chancellor said that the health professionals at JNMC are working long hours attending to a number of infected people as the hospital has been declared a dedicated Covid L2 facility by the government to treat severe coronavirus patients. So far, over 40, 000 samples have been tested for Covid 19 with the two RT-PCR Thermo Fisher machines worth Rs 35 lakhs each installed at JNMC. More than 800 samples from Aligarh, Mathura, Noida, Kasganj, Hathras, Bulandshahar, Agra, Rampur and Etah are tested every day. Various departments of JNMC are also running telemedical facilities for non-Covid patients.

Prof Shahid Ali Siddiqui, Principal, JNMC said that there is a need for good and well conducted research trials before its benefit and some sort of therapy needs to be recommended for routine use in coronavirus patients.

“For this therapy to be effective, plasma must contain sufficient amount of neutralising antibody against that infection and when transfused, it can act as a passive immunisation and provide immediate immunity to susceptible or infected persons by neutralising the virus,” said Prof Shadab Ahmad Khan, Chairman, Department of Medicine.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) prepared by JNMC states that the plasma therapy will be conducted with the consent of confirmed moderate Covid 19 patients, who are not showing improvements. Two doses of approximately 200 ml (4 to 13 ml/kg) of convalescent plasma will be given to patients in two days through the BT Test and the patients will be closely monitored for any adverse happening during the transfusion.

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