GMC Srinagar approves Plasma Therapy

The Ethics Committee of Government Medical College Srinagar has approved the use of Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) in moderately and severely sick COVID19 patients amidst their growing numbers.

Patients admitted at Chest Diseases Hospital – GMC’s dedicated COVID19 facility – could soon be treated with CPT, Principal GMC Srinagar, Prof Samia Rashid said. Prof Rashid said the Ethics Committee of GMC had a meeting on Sunday evening and it cleared the ground for using the therapy on compassionate grounds. She said that the hospital was “ready” as it already had the requisite equipment to derive plasma from blood and its storage thereafter. “It can be administered after due consent from the patient and his or her attendants,” she said.

CPT is being explored as a promising treatment for COVID19 and involves introducing antibodies harvested from the blood of a recovered COVID19 patient into the blood of a recovering patient.

Prof Rashid said plasma could be donated by any person who has recovered from COVID19. There are a few exceptions, such as those with certain diseases or a woman who has given birth or been pregnant. “The patients must have tested negative after 28 days of recovery time,” she said.

Prof Rashid said plasma therapy had been reported to be effective in severely sick and moderately sick patients by doctors from various hospitals. “We now need people to come forward and donate blood for starting plasma therapy here,” she said.

Doctors treating COVID19 patients are witnessing a spike in the number of patients experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of COVID19. A lot of our patients are on oxygen support at CD Hospital, Dr Saleem Tak, medical superintendent of the hospital said. He said the Hospital was “full to capacity”. CD Hospital is a 90 bedded facility, with a 25 bedded extension at Kashmir Nursing Home.