Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday inaugurated the plasma therapy unit for treating COVID-19 patients at Seven Hills Hospital in Andheri. An initiative of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the plasma therapy unit opens a new front in the battle against the novel coronavirus.
"We are facing an unprecedented challenge to our health in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rising to the occasion, our doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, the police, municipal and government staff are working tirelessly to deliver effective healthcare to all those affected by the virus," Tendulkar was quoted as saying in the statement.
"Researchers around the globe are working to find an effective vaccine and treatment. In this, plasma therapy has emerged as an option to treat critically ill patients. I congratulate the BMC on starting this service that will save lives.
"I appeal to people who have recovered completely from COVID-19 to come forward and donate their blood for plasma therapy and help to save lives of patients who are critically ill," he added.
The plasma therapy unit will offer convalescent plasma therapy to COVID-19 patients using donated blood plasma from recovered patients.
Plasma of a convalescent donor, who has recently recovered, contains high levels of antibodies against the pathogen that was the cause of the disease. When this convalescent plasma is transfused into another patient with the same disease, it provides the patient with an immediate immune response.
Convalescent plasma therapy has been successfully used in the treatment of other viral diseases in the past such as SARS, MERS, and H1N1 (swine flu). Plasma therapy works by reducing the viral load significantly. Clinical trials in India have shown promising result, thus giving a new weapon to doctors against the novel coronavirus and new hope to COVID-19 patients.
Over the last few months, a lot of research has been done to tackle this pandemic. From basic drugs to the latest antivirals, many treatment options are in place to treat COVID-19 patients.
The Seven Hills hospital in Mumbai has been at the forefront in treating COVID patients, and with able support from the government and the BMC, the hospital has delivered excellent medical service to these patients.
To date, the hospital has treated over 6,000 patients successfully, who have been discharged and have gone home fully recovered. Now with the new plasma therapy unit, more critically ill patients can be treated with this new therapy.