Plasma eyed as Covid-19 treatment alternative

THE Department of Health (DOH) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is looking at the use of convalescent plasma as an alternative in treating coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients.

But DOH-Cordillera said it has yet to have supply of convalescent plasma blood in the region.

Dr. Ruby Constantino, DOH-CAR director, said possible donors of the convalescent plasma will have to follow guidelines set by the health department.

"The national program coordinator for the voluntary blood program have posted us on the need for more convalescent plasma donors but for the Cordillera Region, we still do not have any supply however, the Police Regional Office-Cordillera's medical officer have inquired on the guidelines and requirements for convalescent plasma donation because of personnel from Camp Dangwa that have expressed their desire to donate," Constantino said.

Constantino reiterated that convalescent plasma coming from fully recovered Covid-19 patients develops antibodies that can fight the coronavirus and must only be administered to current positive Covid-19 patients.

Constantino, meanwhile, discouraged the use of antigens for screening or testing aid for the Coronavirus disease.

"Based on the World Health Organization, it does not recommend the use of antigens for testing. For an antigen to be effective, it must have a sensitivity of 80 percent and a specificity rate of 90 percent," Constaino said.

DOH stated that if an antigen is below the sensitivity and specificity rate, the result may give out a false positive result. The health department considers antigens as not a stand-alone test.


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