The first patient to receive the experimental plasma therapy treatment for coronavirus infection in Uttar Pradesh died following a heart attack on Saturday.

The patient, a 58-year-old doctor, was admitted at the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow.

The news comes after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) received approval for the second phase of the multi-centre clinical trial of plasma therapy.

The Lucknow doctor, who was on ventilator from April 26, and his wife were earlier admitted after they tested positive for COVID-19. He was administered the plasma donated by a doctor from Canada who was the first COVID-19 patient admitted at the hospital and later recovered.

As per KGMU administration, after plasma therapy, the doctor was in a stable condition, his lungs had improved, but he later developed urinary tract infection and was treated for that. He, however, suffered a heart attack around 5 pm.

Convalescent Plasma Therapy is an experimental procedure for treating COVID-19 patients. In this treatment, plasma, a blood component, from a cured patient, is transfused to a critically ill coronavirus patient.

The blood of a person who has recovered from COVID-19 develops antibodies to fight the virus. This therapy uses the antibodies from the blood of a cured patient to treat another critical patient.

The Union health ministry had advised against considering the therapy to be the regular treatment for coronavirus, adding it should be used for research and trial purposes till there is robust scientific evidence to support its efficacy.

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