Coronavirus: plasma transfusions effective against the disease

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 8 April 2020 at 20h14 · Updated on 9 April 2020 at 12h43
Chinese searchers have released a study proving the effectiveness of plasma transfusion in severe coronavirus patients. Hope for many patients across the globe, while waiting for a vaccine.

Curing coronavirus even though patients are very severely infected? This is what seems to guarantee a study carried out in China and published in the highly respected scientific journal  PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. How come? Thanks to plasma transfusions (and then of antibodies) from already cured people. According to this study, the first trials (still running) performed by searchers on a dozen volunteering patients from 34 to 78 years old had particularly encouraging results.

In this study, scientists noticed that symptoms in test patients (cough, breathing difficulties, fever and even chest pains) almost disappeared in some, and even completely for others. They also noticed that two patients on mechanical ventilation have been able to breathe on their own again, but with a high-flow nasal cannula and one patient needed no longer breathing support, just two days after the transfusion. Encouraging results that the study has compared with others involving patients in a similar state, but without plasma transfusion for a bigger contrast.

Encouraging results but not representative for now, as the Chinese scientific team explains in the article. But a way to relieve patients and the medical team from the sick influx. And a potential solution in a short-time period, while waiting for a vaccine to be developed. In France, a similar clinical trial of plasma transfusion from cured people is currently running, including 200 cured people and 60 Covid-19 patients. First results within two to three weeks.

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