A new study from India said that convalescent plasma did not reduce deaths or severe illness among moderate COVID-19 patients.
If you believe convalescent plasma could help treat COVID-19, think again. One study has found that plasma doesn’t work well against the disease.
Blood Plasma and COVID-19
Published in BMJ, the study found that plasma shows only limited effects on patients with moderate COVID-19. Lately, people believe that plasma could boost the immune systems of COVID-19 patients. CNN reports that doctors take plasma out of the blood samples given by COVID-19 survivors. This blood is rich with antibodies.
In August, the FDA approved the use of plasma in emergencies. However, they still did not have enough data at the time. Last month, the National Institutes of Health added that no evidence proves blood plasma works against COVID-19. They even urged doctors not to use it to treat patients.
The Plasma Study
The researchers called the new study the PLACID trial. In this study, they looked at 464 patients with moderate COVID-19 across 39 hospitals in India. Out of the 464, they gave convalescent plasma to 235 people. All of the 464 patients received standard care.
After the study, they found that the plasma helped the patients recover from fatigue and shortness of breath. However, the plasma did not resolve their fever and cough. Moreover, 34 patients who got plasma died. On the other hand, 31 patients who got only standard care died.
Martin Landry said that experts need to do more studies on blood plasma to get clear answers. He added that people might react differently to plasma doses. Landry teaches medicine at the University of Oxford. Also, he co-leads a COVID-19 treatment trial, called Recovery. Their test also looks at convalescent plasma.