Preliminary Convalescent Plasma Therapy Study Promising

Preliminary Convalescent Plasma Therapy Study Promising

A preliminary study of 10 patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms showed that patients’ clinical symptoms rapidly improved within three days of receiving plasma from coronavirus survivors. Lung lesions also showed varying degrees of absorption one week after the treatment,.and the virus disappeared in the blood of patients in seven days.

The convalescent plasma therapy study was based on results of 10 COVID-19 patients treated in China. Two COVID-19 patients in South Korea, a 71-year-old male and 67-year-old female, also were reported to have fully recovered with no side effects after receiving plasma transfusions. The reports raised the hope that the experimental plasma transfusion can help treat severe coronavirus cases.

Convalescent plasma therapy involves the use of plasma collected from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

Convalescent plasma therapy studies already are underway in the United States. Mount Sinai Health System in New York has injected 20 seriously ill coronavirus patients with convalescent plasma over the past few days.

The hope is that the antibodies in recovered patients’ blood will reverse the disease course or possibly prevent others, like healthcare workers, from getting the virus at all. The therapy, approved by the FDA under emergency protocols, is regulated as an investigational product. It allows health care providers and acute care facilities to obtain COVID-19 convalescent plasma from an FDA-registered facility to treat patients who are critically ill with the disease.

A consortium of more than 40 health institutions in the United States are working as part of the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project to conduct clinical trials and research effectiveness of the therapy in treating COVID-19.

Blood Banks, Hospitals Seeking Donors Among Recovered COVID-19 Patients

To be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, individuals must have evidence of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test either by a diagnostic test (e.g., nasopharyngeal swab) at the time of illness or a positive serological test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after recovery. The donor also must have had a complete resolution of symptoms at least 28 days prior to donation or complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior and negative COVID-19 test results.

The American Red Cross Blood Services is one of the licensed blood services providers seeking plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 patients.

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