COVID-19 Treatment: What is Plasma Therapy?

Dr. Amarjeet Bhatia    13-05-2021 Consult

As the need for a COVID vaccine grows, most medical practitioners have recommended an old method for fighting the infectious disease. This treatment used is called plasma therapy. It is a medical process where blood is donated by recovered patients to establish antibodies that fight the infection. Why is it done? How effective has this medical procedure been on COVID patients are questions that this article will shed some light on.

What is Plasma Therapy?
Plasma therapy is a medical procedure that uses the blood of a recovered patient to create antibodies on those infected individuals. Medically known as convalescent plasma therapy, this treatment uses antibodies found in the blood taken from a recovered Covid-19 patient. It is then used to treat those with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection to aid recovery.

Does Plasma Therapy Cure COVID?
Currently, it has shown positive results in Delhi and Mumbai where COVID cases are spiking high. It has also proven to improve the ability of a person to recover from the disease. However, there is more research required to prove its full efficacy in different patient types.

How Does Plasma Therapy Work?
A convalescent plasma therapy uses antibodies (a type of protein i.e. produced by plasma) from patients who have completely recovered from COVID-19 infection. Here is how this procedure will fight coronavirus in your body.

- Blood is taken from a previously infected but completely recovered patient, the plasma component of that blood is separated and that contains the antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus. This plasma is injected into an infected person's body that will fight the virus and neutralize it from spreading.

- Once the patient has recovered, he/she will be asked to donate their blood so that their antibodies will be used to treat other infected patients.

- The blood sample will be checked for any existing harmful diseases such as Hepatitis B & C including HIV.

- The recovered blood will be taken into study and a researcher will extract plasma from the blood that can be injected into an infected person.