Plasma therapy dropped from ICMR COVID-19 treatment protocols

© Dehra Talkies Publications

The use of convalescent plasma has been dropped from the recommended treatment protocols for COVID-19, according to the latest guidelines released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Monday.

Earlier, as per the ICMR advisory on April 22, Convalescent plasma (off label) was considered only when the following criteria were met:

  • Early moderate disease (preferably within 7 days of symptom onset, no use after 7 days)
  • Availability of high-titre donor plasma (signal to cut-off ratio (S/O) ≥3.5 or equivalent depending on the test kit being used)

As per the previous advisory, Remdesivir, Tocilizumab (off label), and convalescent plasma (off label) were used for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

However, as per the latest advisory, only Remdesivir, Tocilizumab (off label) can be used.

On May 14, a meeting of the ICMR – National Task Force for COVID-19 was held during which its ‘ineffectiveness’ in several cases was discussed.

With the cases surging in the country, there has been a spur in the demand for plasma donors, even as experts raise concerns over the efficacy of plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients.

India’s daily spike in coronavirus cases has dipped below the 3 lakh mark for the first time in nearly 26 days as 2,81,386 fresh infections were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry’s data on Monday.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare reported 4,106 Covid-related new deaths in the country and 3,78,741 fresh recoveries during the 24 hours. The cumulative caseload stands at 2,49,65,463, including 2,11,74,076 recoveries,35,16,997 active cases and 2,74,390 deaths.

As per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a total of 31,64,23,658 samples have been tested for COVID-19 up to May 16, of these, 15,73,515 samples were tested on Sunday.


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