'Successful' plasma therapy trial on coronavirus patient in Hyderabad

07:18 PM | 5 May, 2020
'Successful' plasma therapy trial on coronavirus patient in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD – Doctors in southeastern Sindh province say a coronavirus patient has shown improvement after being given plasma therapy, also known as passive immunisation.

Dr Shahid Junejo, Medical Superintendent at Hyderabad Civil Hospital, told the media Tuesday that the patient's pulse rate and oxygen saturation were normal after the procedure.

The decision for the trial was taken after consultation with the vice chancellor of the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Jamshoro, Prof Bikha Ram Devrajani, he added.

Last Thursday, the Sindh Health Department had allowed three hospitals in the province — Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK), the National Institute of Blood Diseases (NIBD) and Hyderabad’s Liaquat University Hospital — to start experimental use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma for the treatment of patients who are infected with the novel coronavirus and are showing moderate to severe symptoms.

Convalescent plasma is taken from the blood of patients who have already recovered from the disease; in this case, COVID-19. It is rich in antibodies and can help other patients recover faster if it is administered properly and in the right circumstances.

Now, doctors plan to select 350 COVID-19 patients under treatment at nine health facilities in the country and start clinical trials of convalescent plasma on them.

The health departments of Punjab, KP, Balochistan have already allowed the medical practitioners to use the technique to treat patients infected with COVID-19.

The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan rose to a total of 21,856, according to government data till Tuesday evening, with at least 24 deaths and 1,315 new infections reported across the South Asian country during the past 24 hours.

The total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country have soared to 21,501. Of these, 7,882 were reported in Sindh, 8,103 in Punjab, 3,288 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1,321 in Balochistan, 464 in Islamabad Capital Territory, 372 in Gilgit-Baltistan, and 71 in Azad Kashmir.

A total of 505 people have died while more than 5,700 patients have recovered in the country.