Coronavirus: US goes all out on convalescent plasma treatment

Coronavirus: US goes all out on convalescent plasma treatment thumbnail
The United States' Food and Drug Administration has encouraged those who have recovered from Covid-19 to donate plasma to help others fight this disease. The plasma of a patient who has recovered from Covid-19. Photo credit: REUTERSIn absence of a major breakthrough in therapeutic trials, the regulatory body in the United States on Thursday announced…

The United States’ Food and Drug Administration has encouraged those who have recovered from Covid-19 to donate plasma to help others fight this disease.

The plasma of a patient who has recovered from Covid-19. Photo credit: REUTERS

In absence of a major breakthrough in therapeutic trials, the regulatory body in the United States on Thursday announced a new protocol through which fully recovered Covid-19 patients will be encouraged to donate their plasma across the country.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said, “Today, we are providing an update on one potential treatment called convalescent plasma and encouraging those who have recovered from Covid-19 to donate plasma to help others fight this disease.”

Keeping in view the importance of the plasma, the FDA has launched a dedicated portal to guide common people so that the maximum number of recovered patients come forward and donate the plasma. “The US has already set up more than 1,040 sites and signed 950 physician-investigators nationwide, to participate in an expanded access protocol,” the FDA said in a press statement.

Apart from this, the American Red Cross has also set up a website for interested donors.

“As this work moves forward, the key to ensuring the availability of convalescent plasma to those in greatest need is getting recovered Covid-19 patients to donate plasma,” FDA statement said.

The FDA also gave an emergency use authorisation (EUA) to Mount Sinai Laboratory in New York for their “Covid-19 ELISA IgG Antibody Test” device. The device can efficiently detect antibodies that are generated as part of the human immune response to the virus.

The US has the highest number of novel coronavirus cases and New York has become the epicentre of the outbreak.

In India too, there is a demand to use the blood plasma of treated cases, as Kerala and Delhi state governments have shown willingness to try the therapy. India has an obvious demographic advantage for such treatment with nearly 12 per cent fully recovered cases so far. However, India hasn’t introduced an institutional effort to collect the plasma till now.

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