- 49-year-old tested COVID-19 positive on April 4, later developed pneumonia
- COVID-19 patient's family suggested plasma therapy, arranged donor
- After receiving plasma therapy patient showed progressive improvement
New Delhi: The first COVID-19 patient who was administered Plasma Therapy at Max Hospital, Saket in Delhi has shown positive results with marked improvement in his health condition and was recently weaned off the ventilator support. On April 4, the 49-year-old male patient was tested COVID-19 positive and admitted at the facility at Max Hospital. However, his condition deteriorated during the next few days and he soon developed pneumonia with Type I respiratory failure, following which he was put to ventilator support on April 8.
When the patient showed no improvement in his condition, his family requested the hospital for administration of plasma therapy, a first of its kind treatment modality that was used for this disease in India, hospital authorities said.
The family came forward to arrange a donor for extracting plasma. The donor had recovered from the infection as confirmed by two consecutive negative reports conducted three weeks ago and again tested COVID-19 negative at the time of donation along with other standard tests to rule out infections like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.
The 49-year-old critically ill patient was administered fresh plasma as a treatment modality as a side-line to standard treatment protocols on the night of April 14, authorities said.
After receiving the treatment, the patient showed progressive improvement and by the fourth day, was weaned off ventilator support on the morning of April 18 and continued on supplementary oxygen, thereafter. He has been shifted to a room with round-the-clock monitoring at present and started taking oral feed since Sunday (April 19) and is faring well.
Speaking on the success of the first case administered under Plasma therapy, Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Director at Institute of Internal Medicine at Max Hospital said, “We are delighted that the therapy worked well in his case, opening a new treatment opportunity during these challenging times. But it is important that we also understand that Plasma therapy is no magic bullet.”
During the patient’s treatment at Max Hospital, other standard treatment protocols were followed and we can say that Plasma therapy could have worked as a catalyst in speeding up his recovery. We cannot attribute 100 per cent recovery to Plasma therapy only, as there are multiple factors which carved his path to recovery, he said.
He said that one donor can donate 400ml of Plasma which can save two lives.
In a country like India, a therapy of such kind has a good potential to help COVID patients who have disease severity which fits into moderate to severe category. Government regulations should work towards making it more accessible for hospitals across the country to be able to use it. One donor can donate 400ml of Plasma which can save two lives, as 200ml is sufficient to treat one patient, he said.
The patient is now doing well and his two consecutive COVID tests have come negative, confirmed a doctor.