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Kerala is set to become the first state in the country to start convalescent plasma therapy, which uses the blood of cured patients, to treat critically ill COVID-19 cases on a trial basis.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given its nod to the state government for the first of its kind project, initiated by the prestigious Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), a top official said.

 

Their plasma is collected and infused into COVID-19 patients who are critically ill and whose immune system cannot fight the virus.

“We do not have strong evidence that it works. So it will be tested in the form of a clinical trial to see whether it will work or not”, the Director said adding they were trying to get Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds for the project, which is estimated to cost Rs 25 lakh.

The project has been approved by the state government and five 

medical colleges — at Thiruvananthapuram, Alapuzha, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kannur — and an expert form COVID clinic in Kozhikode, Dr Anoop, who will do the clinical follow up, will be participating in it.

“We will monitor the “Plasma Pheresis”– a technique of collecting the blood of patients and separating the plasma from blood cells. SCTIMST is awaiting the approval of Drugs Controller of India (DCI) for this kind of blood donation as the stringent criteria of regular blood donati ..