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Convalescent plasma appears promising for severe COVID-19

(HealthDay)—Administration of convalescent plasma seems safe and results in improvement in clinical status for patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19, according to a study not yet peer reviewed and posted on

For the study, Eric Salazar, M.D., Ph.D., from Houston Methodist Hospital, and colleagues enrolled 25 patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19 from March 28 to April 14, 2020. Convalescent plasma was obtained from donors with confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 who had been symptom-free for 14 days and was then transfused into patients.

All patients were receiving supportive care at baseline, including anti-inflammatory and antiviral treatments; all patients were on oxygen support. The researchers found that nine patients had at least a 1-point improvement in the clinical scale at day 7 after transfusion with convalescent plasma; seven of these patients were discharged. Nineteen patients (76 percent) had at least a 1-point improvement in clinical status by day 14, and 11 were discharged. There were no adverse events observed as a result of plasma transfusion. On whole genome sequencing, no strain genotype-disease severity correlation was identified.

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