Octogenarian recovers with ‘limited role of plasma therapy’

Octogenarian recovers with 'limited role of plasma therapy'

Shillong, Oct 24: An octogenarian who was under treatment at the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) after testing for COVID-19, was discharged on Saturday after recovery here in Meghalaya.

87-year-old H. K. Lounghani had tested positive for the viral infection on September 29.

NEIGRIHMS, Director, Prof (Dr), P Bhattacharya informed that Lounghani did not have co-morbidities but since he couldn’t cope up with his oxygenation so he was taken to the Intensive Care Unit.

“Initially he was on ventilator, after some time he was treated with Remdesivir, Ivermectin as part of his treatment,” Bhattacharya said, adding that Lounghani was also administered with plasma therapy.

“Some limited role of plasma therapy was given to improve certain segments and the health of the patient was seen in two days even as oxygen support was taken off,” the medical official said.

“One month with COVID in an ICU does reduce the strength but we expect him to be fully active as he was before,” Bhattacharya said.

Meanwhile, Bhattacharya informed that NEIGRIHMS collects plasma that has high anti-bodies.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study found no benefits of convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients.

The finding of the study has been cited as one of the reasons the National Task Force is considering removing plasma therapy from the standard COVID-19 treatment protocol.

“Plasma therapy is not the only cure for COVID-19, the study by ICMR was the best that can be done but even now it is accepted that more studies are needed,” Bhattacharya said.

Meanwhile, the NEIGRIHMS Director also informed that the institute will charge Rs. 600 for RT-PCR and for Rapid Antigen Test Rs. 100 while test conducted through CB-NAAT costs Rs. 2500.

“But this is only in a specific situation, when we want the results within one to two hours so that we can decide if somebody has come with an accident victim or an ICU pateint but we have to take the call,” Bhattacharya said.

The Meghalaya government is now charging Rs 3,200 for Truenat, CBNAAT and RT-PCR in the government run hospitals as well as private institutes.

Meanwhile, Prof Bhattacharya also said that there could be a surge in cases in the State during the winters.

He pointed out that during the winter months windows should be kept open for few hours.

“The surge should not be so much but it is expected to be slightly more in Meghalaya, than say in a place where winter is not so cold,” he said.

The medical officer also said that taking Vitamin D, Vitamin C Zinc supplement apparently helps to fight COVID.

“But you don’t need to go overboard with excess vitamin D or other supplements, not more than one gram per day, it should keep your body resistance high,” Bhattacharya cautioned.