RML gets nod, may start plasma therapy from Mon, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. (ANI photo)

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved Plasma therapy trials for Covid-19 patients at Centre-run Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

Dr Minakshi Bhardwaj, medical superintendent of RML, told TOI they had already identified donors and trials are likely to start from Monday.

AIIMS, Lok Nayak Hospital, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital and Max Saket are already conducting plasma therapy, which involves injecting plasma — liquid portion of the blood — taken from a patient who has been cured of the disease into Covid-19 patients.

Dr Bhardwaj said it has been found that plasma therapy helps improve the condition of patients with moderate symptoms. “When we started treating Covid-19 patients in February, there were limited guidelines on its management. Any patients who came with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) were put on ventilator support. But now we know ventilator support should be the last resort,” she added.

The RML medical superintendent said they started with 23 beds for Covid-19 patients in the hospital’s trauma block four months ago. As the number of patients increased, she added, the bed strength also went up. “At present, we have 143 isolation beds and 14 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients. There are an additional 71 beds and I4 ICU beds for Covid-19 suspected patients,” Dr Bhardwaj said.

According to the hospital, delayed testing and admission often results in exacerbation of symptoms. “Anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms or has tested positive for the disease should keep checking his or her oxygen saturation. It is a simple process and can be done easily using an oxymeter. Anyone with saturation levels below 95% requires medical monitoring,” a doctor explained.

RML recently came under criticism from the government over delayed testing results. The hospital authorities said their testing capacity has been ramped up over the past few weeks to ensure results are declared on time. From April to June, the hospital claimed, they had conducted over 10,000 major and minor surgical procedures and 171 child deliveries.

In the past four months, sources said, at least 62 healthcare workers at RML have tested positive for Covid-19.

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