Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, scientist world over have been working on both the cure and preventive vaccine of Coronavirus disease. China, from where COVID-19 originated, has started working on Convalescent Plasma Therapy for curing the diseased. As per certain reports in international publications like The Washington Post, Convalescent Plasma Therapy can work as a curative therapy till COVID-19 vaccine is invented.
Convalescent Plasma Therapy involves transfusing blood plasma from the blood of COVID-19 patients, who have recovered fully, to the critical COVID-19 positive patients’ blood. This therapy is based on theory that after getting infected COVID-19 positive patients produce antibodies to fight Coronavirus. These antibodies that are secreted by immune cells known as B lymphocytes, are found in plasma, or the liquid part of blood, besides helping the blood to clot, supports immunity.
After recovery, the patient, infected by the virus, develops antibodies that stay in the patient’s blood, waiting to fight the same virus, if and when it strikes again. Those antibodies, when injected into another positive patient, recognise the virus as the intruder. In COVID-19’s case, scientists say, antibodies attack the spikes on the outside of the virus, blocking the virus from penetrating the human cells. Researchers hope that Convalescent Plasma Therapy will be effective in treating COVID-19 patients with the most severe symptoms. It is also hoped that it may prevent COVID-19 patients from getting sicker.
One donation of plasma by a recovered COVID-19 patient can produce two to four doses of the plasma needed for transfusions in positive patients. Scientists say that a person needs only one transfusion to produce enough antibodies to fight a virus. Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City has partnered with the FDA for clinical trials of Convalescent Plasma Therapy. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, is also conducting convalescent plasma trials.
A study from China suggested that the use of Convalescent Plasma Treatment has successfully treated five critically ill COVID-19 patients. For qualifying to be a donor, the recovered COVID-19 patients have to be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and must have fully recovered with no symptoms for at least 14 days prior to the donation. According to the FDA, “It is not currently known if convalescent plasma will surely be an effective treatment against COVID-19,” but certain successful cases from from around makes this treatment a promising prospective curative therapy.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association described the results of Convalescent Plasma Therapy encouraging after it was used to cure five critically ill patients, who were suffering with COVID-19 and also acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). All five patients, as per the study, recovered. The study also noted that more research is needed as the sample size of the study was only five.
While Nation Next thoroughly researched the above mentioned publications, reports and studies and sought corroboration of a few senior scientists and doctors on the theoretical possibility of Convalescent Plasma Therapy, before publishing this article, we wish to reiterate that this therapy needs to be researched upon a bigger sample size before the declaration of the therapy as the final cure of COVID-19.