In recent weeks, the promising use of cold plasma for treating COVID-19 has been discussed with virologists, microbiologists, anaesthesiologists, intensive care physicians, and pulmonologists. It is known that cold plasmas have a very broad spectrum of efficacy against bacteria – including multi-resistant germs such as MRSA – and viruses. The latter has been demonstrated on adenoviruses, noroviruses and influenza viruses, among others. The conclusion that coronaviruses can also be inactivated by cold plasma therefore seemed obvious. This was confirmed in initial tests as part of a collaboration with the von Brunn working group at the Max von Pettenkofer Institute in Munich. With these promising results, the development of the so-called ‘plasma intensive care’ started at terraplasma medical GmbH – a device for generating gaseous cold plasma, which, in contrast to antiseptic liquids, can also reach angled or hard-to-reach areas in the upper respiratory tract.
The plasma care® is a CE-approved medical device that inactivates bacteria – including multi-resistant pathogens – viruses and fungi using cold atmospheric plasma. It was developed for mobile treatment of acute and chronic wounds. A new ventilation applicator was developed for the plasma care for use in the pharyngeal cavity.
With this applicator, the viral load in the oral and pharyngeal cavities of intubated, ventilated patients can be significantly reduced or even eliminated by using cold plasma. This would reduce the microaspiration of, among other things, bacteria and germs into the bronchial tree and prevent additional entry of the virus due to microaspiration.
Especially the microaspiration of germs and bacteria often leads to a secondary (nosocomial) bacterial superinfection, which led to 30 – 55% of deaths in the SARS epidemic, among others (source: J.L. Gerberding, Antibiotic resistance: the hidden threat lurking behind COVID-19 , STAT March 2020).
In addition to the treatment of intubated patients, the treatment of patients at an earlier stage of the disease is also being examined in order to prevent the virus from spreading to the bronchial tree and later to the lungs as well as the associated intensive care treatment and intubation.