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‘The plasma therapy debate’

Published: 2nd Nov, 2020

‘The plasma therapy debate’

Recently published findings on convalescent plasma therapy on Covid-19 patients have triggered a debate over its efficacy. 

Context

Recently published findings on convalescent plasma therapy on Covid-19 patients have triggered a debate over its efficacy. 

About

What is plasma therapy?

  • Plasma is the liquid part of the blood. Convalescent plasma, extracted from the blood of patients recovering from an infection, is a source of antibodies against the infection.
  • The therapy involves using their plasma to help others recover.
  • For Covid-19, this has been one of the treatment options. The donor would have to be a documented case of Covid-19 and healthy for 28 days since the last symptoms.

What has been found in the trials?

The country’s largest such trial, known by the acronym PLACID has found the following:

  • Convalescent plasma was ineffectivein arresting Covid-19
  • While use of convalescent plasma seemed to improve resolution of shortness of breath and fatigue in patients with moderate Covid-19, this did not translate into a reduction in 28-day mortality or progression to severe disease.
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