Nepal | September 22, 2020

COVID patient recovers after plasma therapy

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Plasma therapy was used for the first time in the country to successfully treat a 60-year-old coronavirus patient, in Kathmandu, earlier this week. The procedure was performed at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj.

“The patient, a resident of Biratnagar, was admitted to the intensive care unit in the hospital on July 25. His health was already critical when he was brought to the hospital. Even after five days of treatment, his health didn’t improve.

Our COVID-19 management committee team members then decided to use plasma therapy for his treatment,” said Santa Kumar Das, co-ordinator of COV- ID-19 management committee at TUTH. “We then co-ordinated with Nepal Health Research Council for the procedure and drew plasma from a 30-year-old man who had recovered from COV- ID-19. The plasma was then transfused into the 60-year-old patient on July 30,” Das added.

Plasma therapy uses blood donated by recovered patients to introduce antibodies in those undergoing treatment. In convalescent plasma therapy plasma — the liquid portion of the blood drawn from patients who’ve recovered is transfused into people with severe COVID-19 symptoms to boost their ability to fight the virus.

“The patient has been recovering since the transfusion. We’ll remove ventilator support tomorrow.

He was in need of 90 per cent oxygen before he was given plasma.

His health has improved considerably.

We are giving him 24-28 per cent oxygen,” said Das.

The treatment of coronavirus patients with plasma therapy is not complicated. Anyone who has recovered from the infection can donate their blood 14 days after recovering from the disease. The blood group of the donor and the receiver must match. The donor should not be infected with Hepatitis B or C or HIV. Pregnant women and new mothers are not allowed to donate blood,” said Das.

Doctors say treating infected patients with plasma from recovered people could reduce the number of coronavirus deaths.

The hospital has been keeping a record of recovered COVID patients and those interested in donating plasma for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 3, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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