Doctors in Karnataka's Hubballi have treated a COVID-19 patient with convalescent plasma therapy, Health Minister B Sriramulu tweeted on Tuesday.
"Doctors at the Karnataka Institute of Medical Science (KIMS), Hubballi, have successfully treated a 64-year-old coronavirus patient with plasma therapy. Congratulations," tweeted the Health Minister. The same was later confirmed by Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar K.
This treatment, which is still at an experimental stage, involves administering the blood of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to those who are still infected or under treatment. Patients who have recovered have antibodies (proteins used to fight infections) to COVID-19 in their blood, which is called convalescent plasma. The treatment was earlier used to treat patients suffering from Ebola and the Spanish flu.
RC Antartani, Director of KIMS, said that the patient was admitted on May 27 with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) and moderate COVID-19 symptoms. "He did not improve with the initial treatment. Later, an expert committee took a decision to carry out the convalescent plasma therapy," Antarani said.
A recovered COVID-19 patient came forward to donate his blood plasma after counselling. The donated plasma was then administered via injections to the 64-year-old patient on May 29 and 30.
"The patient improved both symptomatically and radiologically. He is maintaining an oxygen saturation of 88% to 90%, without oxygen support. He is not experiencing tachypnea (fast breathing)," said Antarani.
The claims come after the first patient to be administered the convalescent plasma (CP) therapy in the state succumbed to his comorbidities on May 14. The 60-year-old man, who was admitted to the Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru, suffered a cardiac arrest, and had medical conditions such as pneumonia, hypertension and diabetes.
Karnataka was one of the first states in India to gain approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to use plasma therapy on April 22. Doctors in the state said that they had not tried plasma therapy after the death reported in May due to a lack of an eligible patient.
Other states, such as Kerala, West Bengal and Gujarat, too, have started the trials for convalescent plasma therapy, although some are facing a shortage of donors. The treatment is given as a last resort for patients with severe conditions.
(With inputs from IANS)