Pune: The state-run Sassoon General Hospital in Maharashtra's Pune city has received the Indian Council of Medical Research's nod to apply plasma therapy on critical COVID-19 patients, a senior health official said on Sunday.
Technically called "convalescent-plasma therapy", the treatment aims at using the immune power gained by a recovered person to treat a sick person.
As part of the therapy, antibodies from a recovered patient are harvested and ingested into a sick person to help the latter's immune system mount a fight against the pathogen.
"We have received necessary permission from the ICMR for plasma therapy and in the next two to three days, we will take further steps. A probable list of 35 donors has been prepared and they will be contacted," Dr Subhash Salunkhe, chairperson of Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Technical Committee said.
"These are people who have definitely developed antibodies. Let's see how many are willing to donate plasma. Repeat tests will be conducted on all the donors before the procedure," he added.
The ICMR has already clarified that the therapy is not a "therapeutic drug of choice", Salunkhe said, adding that "we are using the therapy as a last resort to revive a serious or critical patient".
A recovered patient said he was ready to donate plasma provided the necessary logistics are taken care of by the hospital authorities.
A Pune-based firm, ABIL, had recently donated Rs 28 lakh to Sassoon Hospital to buy equipment required to extract plasma from the blood of a recovered patient.