On Monday (12/6/2021), the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a recommendation not to use convalescent plasma in treating COVID-19 patients. This is because the study showed no increased benefit in patients receiving the treatment.
“There is no clear benefit for critical outcomes such as mortality and mechanical ventilation for patients with mild, severe, or critical illness. And the resource requirements are significant in terms of cost and time for administration,” the WHO guidelines read. CNBC, Tuesday (7/12/2021).
Please note, convalescent plasma therapy is a procedure in which the blood plasma of people who have recovered from COVID-19 is given to patients who are fighting the virus. The hope is that antibodies from recovered patients can help fight infection.
In addition, research also reveals that the procedure faces practical challenges. From finding and testing donors, collecting, and storing and transporting plasma.
The recommendations, published in the British Medical Journal, are based on 16 trials with more than 16,000 patients infected with COVID-19, with mild, severe and critical illness. The research group said research into the treatment should continue in randomized control trials.
In addition to the WHO, the National Institute of Health (NIH) said in August that convalescent plasma had not helped patients in a study of more than 500 adult COVID-19 patients at the University of Pittsburgh. The NIH also revealed that the trial was discontinued in February because it was ineffective.
In one study, The New England Journal of Medicine also found that convalescent plasma did not prevent disease progression in high-risk outpatients, when given one week after the onset of symptoms.
It also did not improve clinical outcomes in hospitalized patients late in the course of their illness. However, the study also found that convalescent plasma did reduce disease progression in older adults, if given within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms.
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