(CNN) – Blood plasma taken from coronavirus survivors and infused into hospitalized patients with COVID-19 reduced their death rate by approximately 57%, a team of researchers reported Thursday.
“These results enhance the efficacy of convalescent plasma as a therapeutic agent against COVID-19,” wrote the researchers, who are working with the support of the US federal government to study plasma for patients with coronavirus.
Plasma shortage for COVID-19 patients in Bolivia
A centuries-old method
Covid-19: Laboratory tests cow antibodies The team analyzed all the studies they could find on the approach, which has been used in epidemics for at least 100 years. The idea is that the blood of disease survivors is loaded with antibodies and other compounds in the immune system that can drive an immune response to a new infection. It is a relatively cheap and low-tech approach.
The researchers conducted studies covering more than 800 coronavirus patients worldwide, including three randomized controlled trials, which are considered the strongest type of study because they involve randomizing patients to one treatment or another for a fair comparison.
“All studies included patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19,” the team wrote in their report published on the MedRxiv prepress server, which has not been peer-reviewed.
The researchers found convalescent plasma transfused patients exhibiting a lower mortality rate. About 13% of patients who received plasma died, compared to 25% of those who did not receive infusions. That is a 57% reduction in the death rate.
“Given the safety of plasma administration in COVID-19 patients, the results of this real-time data aggregation provide a stimulus for continued use as therapy and may have broad implications for the treatment of COVID-19,” he said. the team, led by Dr. Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic.
“Importantly, many of the patients included in the studies included in this review received convalescent plasma transfusions later in the course of their illness,” they added.
The previous treatment could further reduce mortality, they speculated.