UP's first plasma therapy patient, a doctor, dies after urinary infection
UP's first plasma therapy patient, a doctor, dies after urinary infection

Lucknow: A 58-year-old doctor, the first covid19 patient to receive convalescent plasma therapy in Uttar Pradesh two weeks ago, passed away Saturday after testing negative twice for the coronavirus.

The doctor had shown initial recovery but developed urinary tract infection and subjected to dialysis but succumbed due to septic shock, claim the doctors of King George Medical University, Lucknow where he was admitted since April 26.

Incidentally, the KGMU vice chancellor Dr MLB Bhatt had told media Friday, “After 13 days of plasma transfusion, the condition of the patient is stable though continues to be on ventilator.

We cannot say when he will be discharged. ”When the patient was given plasma therapy his condition was very bad,” Dr Tulika Chandra of Blood Transfusion department, KGMU had said on Friday.

Saturday press note of the KGMU reads, “There was a considerable improvement in the patient’s lungs and his ventilator need was reduced since he was given plasma therapy on 26 April.

Unfortunately, he caught urinary infection. We were giving treatment for this and he was put on dialysis as well. He tested negative for coronavirus again today (tested negative once yesterday).

”It is unclear whether he had any comorbid conditions or not. Doctors say it is not uncommon for a patient an isolated ward on ventilator support to contract urinary infection.

A resident doctor Tauseef Khan, who had contracted the virus while serving patients and recovered from the disease last month, had donated his blood for this experimental therapy.

Maharashtra had also lost its plasma therapy patient a week ago and the doctors had claimed that he was given plasma on “humanitarian grounds” after requests from the patient’s kin although he was unfit for it due to severity of covid19 and other comorbid conditions. However, states like Delhi (1 patient), Rajasthan (2) and Madhya Pradesh (2) had claimed success of plasma therapy in their limited trials.

“Success in convalescent plasma therapy depends on several factors including the timing of plasma infusion and underlying conditions in the patient such as diabetes, cardiac disease or cancer,” infectious disease experts say.

Patients with early and moderate infections should be chosen for this. Even Indian Council of Medical Research had stated a couple of days ago to launch second phase of plasma trial.

Dr Sudhir Singh, spokesperson of the KGMU claims, “The doctor was chosen for plasma treatment purely on scientific grounds. He had tested negative twice for covid19 which means he was recovered from the disease. He contracted urinary tract infection perhaps due to low immunity or virulent strain of bacteria (E Coli).”

“This infection spread into the body through blood causing septicaemia which resulted in septic shock leading to death,” Dr Singh explained. The University will continue with the plasma therapy as and when required, confirms Dr Singh. When asked about the comorbid conditions of the deceased, Dr Singh bought time to revert. His response was awaited.

Box: What is plasma therapy

The convalescent plasma therapy is an experimental procedure for COVID-19 patients. The idea behind this therapy is that immunity can be transferred from a person convalesced or recovered from a disease to a patient infected with the same disease by using convalescent plasma. The recovered patient's blood plasma is rich in antibodies which helps the infected person to battle against the disease.

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