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First COVID-19 patient to receive plasma treatment succumbs in Maharashtra

The first COVID-19 patient who underwent convalescent plasma therapy in Maharashtra succumbed to the infection on Wednesday night at Lilavati Hospital

First COVID-19 patient to receive plasma treatment succumbs in Maharashtra
Mumbai, First Published May 1, 2020, 4:06 PM IST

Mumbai: Maharashtra's first COVID-19 patient was undergoing treatment using plasma therapy died due to the disease at Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital on Wednesday night. The 53-year-old patient was in critical condition and was kept under ventilator support.

The patient had not tested negative for coronavirus and had not shown any improvements in his condition since the therapy was administered four days ago, according to reports on Times of India.

On Saturday, doctors transfused one dose (200 ml) of plasma from a recovered person to help the patient develop antibodies and fight the infection. However, while the patient's condition was initially showing improvement, he was again reported critical within 24 hours.

The patient died at 11:30 pm on Wednesday after developing acute respiratory distress syndrome and succumbed due to septicaemia.

As the patient had shown signs of recovery, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope had hailed the trial as the 'first successful treatment of a COVID-19' in the state.

Earlier, Rajesh Tope had on Tuesday said that plasma therapy is being used in the state on an experimental basis after getting approval from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

"I have not heard what exactly ICMR has suggested today on plasma therapy. But I know that we are doing it on an experimental basis after ICMR allowed us to do so. I want to tell you that we have seen good results on two patients," Tope had said.

The ICMR had on Tuesday said that currently there are no approved, definitive therapies for COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is one of several emerging therapies. However, there is no robust evidence to support it for routine therapy, the research body had said.

Cautioning about the risks of using plasma therapy, ICMR had noted that convalescent plasma therapy comes with its own share of technical challenges, like antibody titer testing. There are also several risks of using this therapy including life-threatening allergic reactions and lung injury.

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