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Convalescent Plasma to Treat Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

by Jayashree on June 8, 2021 at 10:55 PM
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 Convalescent Plasma to Treat Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

Plasma Therapy involves transfusion of antibodies from recovered COVID-19 (convalescent coronavirus patient) to a critical patient based on the principle that the blood of a recovered patient is rich in antibodies needed to combat COVID-19 in the absence of drugs to cure Coronavirus infection or vaccines to prevent COVID-19.

The use of convalescent plasma started declining late in 2020 after several large clinical trials showed no apparent benefit but a new study in the journal eLife by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues suggests decline in the use of convalescent plasma to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients might have led to higher COVID-19 mortality from November 2020 to February 2021.

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They compared the number of units of plasma distributed to U.S. hospitals from blood banks on a per patient basis to the number of reported COVID-19 deaths per hospital admission across the country.

After analysing two datasets the researchers generated a model that suggests the COVID-19 case fatality rate decreased by 1.8 percentage points for every 10-percentage point increase in the rate of plasma use but other factors like changes in the average age of hospitalized patients, and the emergence of new variants of the COVID-19-causing coronavirus also influence the mortality rate.
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Even the clinical trials with negative results used plasma mainly as an antiviral treatment did not explore its effect late in the course of COVID-19.

So, this study urges physicians, policymakers, and regulator to consider the totality of the available evidence including this study findings for making decisions about convalescent plasma use in individual COVID-19 patients.



Source: Medindia
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