The first patient who was administered Convalescent Plasma Therapy on compassionate grounds at Max Hospital, Saket, East Wing (a COVID-only facility) has now fully recovered and was discharged today date with a promising prognosis. He had been weaned off ventilator support seven days ago.
The 49-year-old, male patient from Delhi had tested COVID positive on April 4th, and was admitted at the COVID facility at hospital with moderate symptoms and a history of fever and respiratory issues, the same day. His condition deteriorated during the next few days and he soon required external oxygen to maintain saturation. He soon developed pneumonia with Type I respiratory failure and had to be put on ventilator support on April 8th. When the patient showed no improvement in his condition, his family requested the hospital for administration of plasma therapy on compassionate grounds, a first of its kind treatment modality that was used for this disease in India.
The family came forward to arrange a donor for extracting plasma. The donor had recovered from the infection (confirmed by two consecutive negative reports) three weeks before her donation and again tested COVID-19 negative at the time of donation along with other standard tests to rule out infections like Hep B, Hep C and HIV. The 49-year-old critically ill patient was administered fresh plasma as a treatment modality as a side-line to standard treatment protocols on the night of April 14th, Tuesday.
According to doctors, a single donor can donate 400ml of Plasma which can save two lives, as 200ml is sufficient to treat one patient.
After receiving the treatment, the patient showed progressive improvement and by fourth day, was weaned off ventilator support on the morning of April 18th, Saturday and continued on supplementary oxygen, thereafter. He had started taken oral feed in 24-hours of being off ventilator support. He was shifted to a room with round-the-clock monitoring on Monday after testing negative twice within 24 hours. With sustained efforts by a team of doctors comprising of Dr Omender Singh, head, Critical Care, Dr Deven Juneja, Critical Care and Dr Sangeeta Pathak, Head, Blood Bank; and all frontline healthcare workers including junior doctors, nurses, GDAs and lab technicians among others and a strong will power of the patient himself, he was finally discharged today. He will home for another two weeks as per government guidelines.
Speaking on the success of the first case administered under Plasma Therapy, Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, Group Medical Director – Max Healthcare & Senior Director – Institute of Internal Medicine, “We are delighted that the therapy worked well in his case, opening a new treatment opportunity during these challenging times. But it is important that we also understand that Plasma Therapy is no magic bullet. During the patient’s treatment at Max Hospital, Saket, other standard treatment protocols were followed and we can say that Plasma Therapy could have worked as a Catalyst in speeding up his recovery. We cannot attribute 100% recovery to Plasma Therapy only, as there are multiple factors which carved his path to recovery.”
Added, Mr Abhay Soi, Chairman, Max Healthcare, “In a country like India, a therapy of such kind has a good potential to help critically ill COVID patients. Recent modifications in government regulations have made it more accessible for hospitals in various states. We need positive support from individuals who have recovered from the disease to come forward as donors.”