Jan 12, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – At least 50 persons have benefited from the COVID-19 convalescent plasma treatment administered via the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Under the treatment option, the convalescent plasma is collected from a recovered COVID-19 patient by the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS). The plasma, which contains the anti-bodies against the virus, is then used to treat critical patients who are suffering from the infection with the intention of it fighting the same viral infection. The blood/plasma goes through a rigorous filtration process at the NBTS before it is administered to the patients.
Head of Medical Services at the GPHC, Dr. Mahendra Carpen, had confirmed with Kaieteur News that the method of treatment has been highly successful with patients battling the deadly disease.
In his most recent update, Dr. Carpen noted that at least 50 patients were able to benefit from the successful treatment of plasma from COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Carpen is one the leading healthcare providers treating patients with the disease. He had explained previously that while the convalescent (recovered) plasma treatment remains a viable option for patients who are in extremely critical condition, treatment has been restrained by the compatibility issues.
He noted that the hospital must 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,” the doctor had stressed.
However, Head of the NBTS, Dr. Pedro Lewis, explained that while there were some initial issues with recovered patients donating their plasma to the cause, the NBTS has been encouraging more recovered patients to donate. As a result, Dr. Lewis confirmed that some 70 percent of plasma collected from the recovered patients has been used to treat those still sick with the ailment. He explained that, the process of collecting the life-saving bodily fluid is safe.
“We do all the regular screening that is associated with the regular process of donating blood. So the entire process is safe,” Dr. Lewis revealed during a Kaieteur Radio’s Your Health Matters yesterday.
He noted nonetheless, that the success rate of the recovery of COVID-19 patients should not be credited to convalescent plasma treatment alone, since there are other medications used to treat the patients.
The doctor noted, that convalescent plasma is not a substitute for full treatment; rather it is a supplement to the other medications used to treat COVID-19 patients.
Supplementary treatment includes the administration of oxygen, vitamins, hydroxychloroquine and other types of medications.
Since last March, Guyana has been exploring the treatment options recommended for patients affected by the Coronavirus disease.
Among them was the convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients a recommendation by the Ministry of Health (MOH) following approval from the Pan-American Health Organization/ World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO).
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