‘Irrational’ use of convalescent plasma worries medical experts | India News

'Irrational’ use of convalescent plasma worries medical experts | India News
Several clinicians, public health professionals and scientists have written to the principal scientific advisor to the government expressing concerns about “the irrational and non-scientific use of convalescent plasma for Covid-19 in India”.
“Current research evidence unanimously indicates that there is no benefit offered by convalescent plasma for treatment of Covid-19. However, it continues to be prescribed rampantly in hospitals across India” they stated in an open letter.
They stated that this situation “stemmed from guidelines issued by government agencies” and requested the urgent intervention of the principal scientific advisor Dr Vijay Raghavan to address the issue to prevent harassment of Covid-19 patients, their families, their clinicians and survivors.
These professionals listed the current evidence on plasma therapy and pointed out that the ICMR guidelines were not based on the existing evidence.
“The problematic scenario arises because of guidelines issued by ICMR/AIIMS which currently recommends plasma therapy (April 2021 version) as “off label” use. This is rather unusual as off-label use by its very definition implies “unapproved use”.
We would also like to point out that international guidelines such as those from National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA and the IDSA guidelines also recommend against general use of plasma therapy for Covid-19,” stated the letter.
The signatories requested Dr Vijay Raghavan to urgently review the guidelines and remove this unnecessary therapy “which has no benefit but is only causing harassment of patients, their families and even survivors who are being pressured to donate plasma. They also asked for clear instructions to blood banks across the country on this.

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