Another study of the effectiveness of convalescent blood plasma again did not meet the expectations of scientists. In a moderate course of the disease, plasma transfusion does not reduce the risk of disease progression, nor does it reduce mortality.
In research, published at The BMJ, scientists analyzed data from 464 patients from India with moderate COVID-19 who were hospitalized between April and July. Almost half of them, with an interval of a day, twice transfused the plasma of those who recovered from COVID-19, the control group received only standard therapy.
A month later, in 19% of patients who received plasma, the moderate course of COVID-19 progressed to a more severe form, some patients died. In the control group, complications and mortality were observed in 18% of patients.
However, scientists are in no hurry to put an end to this method of treatment. They do not exclude that the effectiveness of therapy directly depends on the level of antibodies in the plasma of those who have been ill. At the moment, a large-scale study is underway in the UK with the participation of different groups of patients, but plasma with a high titer of antibodies to coronavirus is used for their treatment – about 6-10 times higher than indicated in the Indian report.
Intermediate results A similar study in Texas with 351 patients showed that high antibody plasma transfusion significantly reduced the risk of complications and mortality in hospitalized patients with mild COVID-19.
Scientists warn that plasma therapy may not become a panacea even if the effectiveness of this method is proven, because there may not be enough donors. The volume of collected plasma, depending on the weight of the donor, ranges from 690 to 880 milliliters – this is enough for one or two patients. In addition, the donor’s blood type must match that of the recipient.