Indiscriminate Use Of Convalescent Plasma Therapy For COVID Patients Not Advisable: ICMR

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New Delhi: Indiscriminate use of Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) should be avoided as it does not reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients, the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Wednesday.

The apex medical research body issued Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) on plasma therapy and advised states to desist from its indiscriminate use, The New Indian Express (TNIE) reported quoting ANI.

“ICMR conducted an open-label phase II multicentre randomised controlled trial in India across 39 public and private hospitals on use of convalescent plasma in the management of cases with moderate COVID-19 disease (PLACID Trial). It was concluded that, CPT did not lead to reduction in progression to severe COVID19 or all cause mortality in the group that received CPT as compared to the group that did not receive CPT,” said the ICMR in its new advisory, the report added.

“PLACID is the world’s largest pragmatic trial on CPT conducted in 464 moderately ill laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 affected adults in real-world setting wherein no benefit of use of CPT could be established,” it said.

“It is speculated that convalescent plasma having low concentration of specific antibody against SARS-CoV-2 may be less beneficial for treating COVID-19 patients as compared to plasma with high concentration of such antibodies,” said the guidance note.

“This ICMR advisory, therefore, embraces the principle that a potential donor for convalescent plasma should have sufficient concentration of antibody working against COVID19,” it added.

The potential donor

  • Can be a male and female who has never been pregnant
  • Should be in the age group of 18-65 years who after 14 days of symptom resolution testing negative for COVID-19 is not necessary, can donate plasma.

The potential recipient

  • The donor can be in the early stage of COVID-19
  • The therapy should be administered between 3-7 days from onset of symptoms, but not later than 10 days
  • There should be no IgG antibody against COVID-19 by appropriate test and informed consent has to be taken.
  • The presence of antibodies against COVID-19 in a potential recipient makes transfusing convalescent plasma a futile intervention.

“CPT, therefore, should only be used, as advised by ICMR NTF, for management of COVID-19 when specific criteria are fulfilled,” it said, TNIE reported.

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