A preliminary analysis of an ongoing study at the Houston Methodist (United States) with over 300 COVID-19 patients treated with donated plasma therapy by recovered suggests that the treatment is safe and effective. The results, published in The American Journal of Pathology, represent one of the first peer-reviewed publications in the US to evaluate the efficacy of convalescent plasma.
The study tracked critically ill COVID-19 patients admitted to the Houston Methodist system of eight hospitals from March 28 to July 6. Thus, the results offer a valuable scientific evidence that transfusion of critically ill COVID-19 patients with high-antibody plasma in the early stages of their illness, within 72 hours after hospitalization, was found to be more effective, reducing the mortality rate.
‘Our studies to date show that the treatment is safe and, in a promising number of patients, effective. Although convalescent plasma therapy remains experimental and we have more research to do and data to collect, we now have more evidence than ever that this century-old plasma therapy has merits, is safe, and can help reduce the mortality rate from convalescent patients. virus, ”explains one of the research leaders, James M. Musser.
The research team found that those treated early in their illness with donated plasma that has the highest concentration of anti-COVID-19 antibodies are more likely to survive and recover than similar patients who were not treated with convalescent plasma. Patients with a history of severe reactions to blood transfusions, those with underlying uncompensated and intractable end-stage disease, and patients with fluid overload or other conditions that would increase the risk of a plasma transfusion were excluded.
Patients were followed for 28 days after plasma transfusion and they were compared to a control group of similar COVID-19 patients who did not receive convalescent plasma. An observational propensity score analysis was used to balance the characteristics of the participants and allow an objective interpretation of the results at this stage.
Several studies have measured safety, showing that the more than 34,000 COVID-19 patients in the United States who have received plasma transfusions for COVID-19 experienced minimal adverse effects.