Convalescent Plasma Therapy of Little Benefit for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

Henrietta Brewer
October 24, 2020

Key public health leaders including Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, however, have noted that researchers are still studying convalescent plasma's role in COVID-19.

It said that in the "pre-vaccine era, convalescent plasma was used to treat viral diseases such as poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, and influenza, and, more recently, influenza, Ebola virus disease, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus epidemics, with varying degrees of success".

The U.S. has temporarily approved plasma as a treatment for COVID-19 and it has been used in some 100,000 patients in that country, despite the limited evidence on its efficacy. "In simple terms, there were no clinical benefits to the patients".


Using convalescent plasma from the blood of people who have recovered from COVID-19 to treat other patients failed to prevent deaths or worsening illness in one clinical trial. About half received transfusions of plasma with virus-fighting antibodies, and the others received standard care only. The primary outcome as a composite of progression to severe disease Pa02/FiO2 ratio 100mmHg, anytime within 28 days of enrolment or mortality at 28 days. Red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma.

Once a patient has a corona infection, when he or she recovers, there is an antibiotic development in their body.

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) says that clinical trials conducted on plasma therapy have shown that it has not proved to be very effective for Kovid-19 patients. She noted that COVID-19 is "a life threatening thrombotic disorder", meaning it causes blood to thicken and clot, and the primary goal of giving people plasma infusions is to treat acute bleeding and bleeding disorders - conditions in which it would be good if blood thickened. We know that if you already have antibodies then giving antibodies from outside through plasma may not be of that much use.


Ian Jones, a Reading University professor of virology, agreed with Landray that plasma may be more likely to work very soon after someone contracts COVID-19.

"One could well imagine that the treatment might work particularly well in those earlier in the course of the disease or who have not been able to mount a good antibody response to the virus of their own", said Martin Landray, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Britain's Oxford University. "But such speculation needs to be tested".

The FDA said it was "facilitating access" for the treatment to be used on patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections'. "Counselors are also being put in the field in order to counsel the patients undergoing home isolation, because it will also include safety of elderly patients in the house", Rane said, adding that treated Covid-19 patients, post treatment, were developing fibrosis, which needed medical attention.


There is also the possibility that asymptomatic patients - those who never showed symptoms or became unwell - would be able to donate.

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