Sep 04, 2020 News
Six patients have been released from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) following their successful treatment using the plasma from patients who recovered from the deadly coronavirus/COVID-19 disease.
Head of Medical Services at GPHC, Dr. Mahendra Carpen, told Kaieteur News that the convalescent (recovered) plasma treatment remains a viable option for patients who are in extremely critical condition.
The doctor revealed that the patients have been administered and responded favourably to the treatment have all recovered fully.
Dr. Carpen explained, nonetheless, that the convalescent plasma treatment has been restrained by the compatibility issues. “We have to ensure that the blood that is collected from the recovered patients is compatible and can be used on those who are critical. That’s where we face a restraint because it’s not always a match.”
Under the treatment option, the convalescent plasma is collected from a recovered COVID-19 patient that contains the anti-bodies against the virus and then used to treat critical patients who are suffering from the infection with the intention for it to fight the same viral infection. The blood/plasma goes through a rigorous filtration process before it is administered to the patients.
The convalescent plasma is, however, not a substitute for full treatment; rather it is a supplement to the other medications used to treat COVID-19 patients.
“What happens is that patients are given the treatment along with the oxygen, vitamins, hydroxychloroquine and other types of medications administered to COVID-19 patients,” the doctor had explained.
Guyana has been exploring the treatment options recommended for patients affected by the Coronavirus disease with the introduction to the use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients after the Ministry of Health (MOH) obtained approval from the Pan-American Health Organization World Health Organisation(PAHO/WHO) to administer the treatment to patients here.
Additionally, a group of doctors had applied to WHO to take part in solidarity trial for the clinical treatment of COVID-19 patients.
According to the WHO, the solidarity trial is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19, which was launched by the WHO and its partners.
Dr. Carpen confirmed that he is part of the team that is expected to participate in the solidarity trial programme, which compares options against standard of care, to assess their relative effectiveness against COVID-19.
WHO explained that by enrolling patients in multiple countries, the solidarity trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs slow disease progression or improve survival.
Until there is sufficient evidence, WHO has cautioned against physicians and medical associations recommending or administering these unproven treatments to patients with COVID-19 or people self-medicating with them.
WHO also raised concerns by reports of individuals self-medicating with chloroquine which can cause them serious harm.
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