• Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022
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Bangladesh to explore plasma therapy for Covid-19

  • Published at 04:24 pm April 18th, 2020
Coronavirus the virus
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Plasma therapy uses antibodies from the blood of cured patients to treat other infected patients

Bangladesh is planning to explore convalescent plasma therapy options to treat Covid-19 patients.

Plasma therapy uses antibodies from the blood of cured patients to treat other infected patients.

A committee has been formed for this purpose. The authorities concerned have already held a couple of meetings and are now preparing a protocol on how the committee will operate.

“We formed a four-member committee on Friday and had a detailed discussion. We are now planning to collect blood from people who have recovered from Covid-19,” Dr Abul Kalam Azad, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Dhaka Tribune.

The plan has been undertaken already and a letter will be issued to the committee on Sunday to collect blood samples (serum) from patients who have recovered, he added.

Dr Aminul Hasan, director (hospital) of DGHS said the committee will prepare a protocol within five days so that they can do their job properly.

The plasma therapy can bring hope in this fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he added.

However, the Covid-19 convalescent plasma has not yet been approved for use by the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration and is now being regulated as an investigational product.

For decades, doctors have used plasma or even whole blood from recovered patients to treat the newly infected.

“We are closely motoring everything and would consider any kind of new treatment if we get any positive results,” said Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Director, Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora.

“It is still difficult to come up with any definite answer for beating Covid-19. But we can keep testing and consider all available procedures,” said Dr Meerjady.

In Iran, plasma therapy has reduced Covid-19 deaths by 40%, reports Tehran Times quoting doctors.

In March, a 100-year-old man from China was discharged from the hospital after recovering from Covid-19, making him the oldest known patient to successfully recover from the disease. Doctors used a variety of methods such as convalescent plasma therapy and traditional Chinese medicine for his treatment.

The use of convalescent plasma for Covid-19 patients trials are taking place across the world, including in Germany, France, and the US.

What is Plasma Therapy?

“The antibody that is made against Covid-19 in the human body resides in the blood, which is the main factor in recovering, and is taken to treat patients who are infected. This method is called plasma therapy,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's personal physician, Dr ABM Abdullah.

“It can be a good option for treating and beating this virus,” he added.

“We should use plasma therapy. Many patients are now admitted in ICUs and are on life support. Their condition can improve if plasma therapy is used,” said Dr Mujibur Rahman, head of the Medicine Department at Dhaka Medical College.

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