Plasma Therapy: Best Hope For COVID-19 Patients?


A recent study has found convalescent plasma therapy is safe for COVID-19 patients. Now researchers are working to determine if it's effective.

(NBC News) Convalescent plasma therapy has been touted as a possible game changer in the fight against COVID-19.  Now, the most comprehensive study to date finds it’s safe to use it to treat patients.

Of the more than 5,000 seriously ill patients who received blood plasma, fewer than one percent experienced adverse events.

Now researchers are tackling the next big question: Does it work?

At UC Davis Health two patients received plasma transfusions.
One has since recovered; the other is showing significant improvement.  

The medical center is part of a nationwide study involving more than 2,000 hospitals and labs looking at the effectiveness of the treatment.
“It works by basically transferring antibodies that are made as someone recovers from the disease to the acutely ill patient, so giving them an immune boost so to speak,” explains Dr. Allison Brashear, Dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine.
Blood products from survivors have been used to treat other outbreaks, including SARS, MERS and ebola. 

While anecdotal evidence suggests it helps in the fight against coronavirus, more plasma, for more patients is needed to continue studies.

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