Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Thursday discontinued convalescent plasma therapy as a recommended treatment for COVID19.

The Health and Family Welfare Department took the decision following removal of the plasma therapy from COVID management guidelines of ICMR and Union Health Ministry.

A notification in this regard was issued by the department to all the Medical Colleges and Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar and IGH in Rourkela where Plasma banks were established to treat COVID patients by plasma therapy.

The Technical Committee comprising of DPH(O), DHS(O) and DMET(O) reported the following points which the Health Department mentioned in the notification:

1)AIIMS ICMR- COVID-19 National Task Force / Joint Monitoring Group (Dte.GHS), MoHFW. Government of India has issued new clinical guidelines for management of Covid-19 patients from which they have deleted Convalescent Plasma Therapy Included as 'off-label' therapy.

2)Following the results of the Recovery clinical trial published in The Lancet on May 14, researchers who conducted the trial reported that transfusions of high-titre plasma (i.e. plasma with a higher quantity of antibodies) didn't improve the recipient's chances of survival after 28 days.

3)Until May 17, ICMR had included the use of convalescent plasma for "off-label", or unapproved use, despite the findings of its own trial (Some doctors had also expressed dissatisfaction with parts of this trial, including poor patient selection and lack of plasma standardization.)”

4)In the absence of other treatment guidelines, its inclusion in IOM's protocols allowed doctors and hospitals following varying treatment regimes around the country, drawn from their own experiences, to prescribe the use of convalescent plasma as well, despite zero supporting evidence.

5)The Committee has pointed out that international guideline such as those from the US National Institutes of Health and the IDSA guidelines also recommend against general use of plasma therapy for COVID-19.

6)It is therefore, instructed to all concerned to adhere to the guideline of MoHFW, GOI and discontinue convalescent plasma therapy for the management of COVID-19 infection in the State until further orders.