Blood plasma can help in decreasing the symptoms of COVID-19
The US blood donation centers are making huge efforts to collect plasma from COVID-19 patients who have recently recovered from the disease. The reason for doing this is to save the lives of the newly infected with the disease.
According to the guidelines released on Tuesday by AABB, an international nonprofit agency focused on cellular therapies and transfusion medicine. A lot of blood centers that are located nationwide can be an essential source for this old treatment method. In case you are wondering, this method is Convalescent Plasma Therapy.
According to this treatment method, they take blood products from patients who survived this disease. Then they give these blood products to those people who are still infected. This practice has been used in the 1930s to treat measles. In the 1918s, experts practiced plasma therapy during the disastrous flu. They use this plasma therapy to treat those infected with SARS, EBOLA, and H1N1 influenza.
Recent researches have shown that the use of plasma can offer hope and can reduce the fatalities and symptoms in the outbreaks of coronavirus.
In the recent surge of COVID-19, non-proven evidence from china has proved that the antibody treatment helps COVID-19 patients until they are fit to develop their natural antibodies.
This procedure is a promising one to try given that there’s no treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, experts say.
“There’s nothing else out there,” said Dr. Louis Katz, an expert in the blood industry, leading the AABB’s working group on Convalescent plasma.
The new rules came into being a week after the Federal Food and Drug Administration allowed the use of Convalescent Plasma for the people who are critically ill due to COVID-19.
Houston Methodist Hospital is among the first medical centers to use this therapy. One good thing about this is that two COVID-19 patients have recovered due to this therapy since Saturday.
Looking at the recent recoveries, the New York blood center has also started to collect the plasma from the patients who have recovered. Besides this, the American Red Cross has also organized a site that will collect information about the potential plasma donors.
A new rollout can also develop the practice exponentially because the AABB has joined the efforts with America’s Blood Centers.
“This is all the medicine on the fly, right?” we don’t have randomized controlled trials. We’re going to do our best that we can,” said Katz.
At various community blood centers, they have changed the method of collecting plasma. Here, they will collect the plasma from COVID-19 survivor donors. This will be confirmed with a lab test. According to the guidelines, the donors must test negative and should stop experiencing symptoms for 28 days.
Numerous research medical companies are trying daily to detect antibodies that are fighting the virus. It may seem challenging for the blood centers at first.
This collection will make a great change in the amount of plasma that is being collected from COVID-19 survivors.
“We can go the whole hog, now that we have such an accommodating stance from the agency,” said Katz.
Felberbaum noted that the requirement to transfuse convalescent plasma into patients is an authorization of the new drug or e-IND. FDA has granted a lot of requests for emergency INDs.
Another blood center, the Seattle-area blood center is working tirelessly alongside the University of Washington to harvest plasma from recovered victims of COVID-19. The donations people make here will become a major part of a research study co-led by a professional professor, Dr. Terry Gernsheimer, at UW school of medicine.