Can Plasma Therapy Help In Treating COVID-19? Study Sheds Light On Why…

247 News Around The World
247 News Around The World

According to the study results, the treatment did not reduce the risk of death (24% in both groups). read to know everything about the therapy.

It’s been more than a year now the world is in the grip of deadly coronavirus, which was first reported from China’s Wuhan city. The infection was so deadly that the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a pandemic. Ever since then many studies have surfaced claiming various treatment options to lower down the death rate among patients experiencing from COVID-19 infection. One of the very first was ‘convalescent plasma therapy’, which scientists thought might be one of the best ways to treat the infection. Since earlier days of the pandemic, experts considered convalescent plasma therapy as one of the possible best ways to treat COVID-19. What exactly happens in this therapy? This course of action involves techniques in which a patient is being given the plasma of people who had recovered (or convalesced) from COVID-19. Now, coming to the idea behind this was that this antibody-high infusion would help their immune systems fight infection. It’s a strategy tried, with various degrees of success, for other infectious diseases, including Ebola.

Convalescent Plasma A To Z About It

In medical terms, convalescent plasma is a blood product that contains antibodies against infectious viruses such as the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is being taken/collected from the patients who have recovered from the infectious disease.

How Do Scientists Separate The Plasma From Blood?

To separate the plasma from the blood of a recovered patient, scientists use a course of action called apheresis. In this course of action, the red and white cells, and platelets are generally removed from the blood leaving plasma, which is the house of the antibodies.

Convalescent Plasma Therapy The Rise And Fall

Convalescent plasma therapy which is also known as serum therapy originated in the 1890s. This was the time when the diphtheria sudden increase was first reported. The sudden increase was noted among the infected horses with the bacteria causing diphtheria. Once the horses recovered, Behring collected their antibody-high blood to treat humans with the disease. This led to him being awarded the first Nobel prize in physiology or medicine, in 1901.

Convalescent Plasma Therapy Futile In Treating COVID-19

According to the study, a growing number of evidence shows that convalescent plasma does not save the lives of people critically ill with COVID-19. The study concluded the therapy as ‘futile’ in treating the deadly virus infection.

Why Has Convalescent Plasma Been Used To Treat COVID?

Ever since the first sudden increase of deadly coronavirus was first noted in the world, researchers stated the use of this therapy’s significance in treating the highly infectious coronavirus disease. Convalescent plasma os, not a new treatment, it has been used to treat infectious diseases for over a century. Some of them include scarlet fever, pneumonia, tetanus, diphtheria, mumps, chickenpox, MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), and Ebola.

Based on several clinical studies and trials, convalescent plasma was being used widely among the patients experiencing from COVID-19 in the United States (USA), a decision supported by the Food and Drug Administration. By May this year, more than 100 clinical trials had been conducted with convalescent plasma in people with COVID-19; about one-third of these studies had finished or were stopped early.

Convalescent Plasma Efficacy and Other Details

Earlier this year, UK conducted a study to probe convalescent plasma therapy (compared to usual supportive care) which included more than 10,000 people hospitalised with COVID-19. According to the study results, the treatment did not reduce the risk of death (24% in both groups), with no difference in the number of patients who recovered (66% discharged from hospital in both groups) or who got worse (29% needed mechanical ventilation to sustain breathing in both groups). consequently, following the study, the researchers concluded that convalescent plasma offers no assistance for people admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Convalescent Plasma In Other Countries

A Cochrane review, which was updated in May this year and evaluated all obtainable trials, confirmed these results. These trials involved more than 40,000 people with moderate-to-harsh COVID-19 who received convalescent plasma. The review found the treatment had no effect on the risk of dying from COVID-19, did not reduce the risk of requiring hospitalisation nor the need for a ventilator to assist breathing when compared to placebo or standard care. However, this is not the case with every country, in Australia, the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce does not recommend using convalescent plasma in people with COVID-19 unless it is in a clinical trial.

So, What’s New?

In the latest study which involved about 2,000 hospitalized patients with moderate-to-harsh COVID-19, it has been found that

  • Patients were randomised to received convalescent plasma or usual care.
  • All the COVID-19 positive patients had access to other supportive medicines such as dexamethasone and remdesivir.
  • The study team included patients from various countries such as Australia, Canada, UK, and the US.

Although the results and detailed examination were published this week, the trial was halted in January. This is when the trial committee reviewed the interim results and reported: “convalescent plasma was doubtful to be of assistance for patients with COVID-19 who require organ sustain in an intensive care unit”. So continuing the trial was considered futile.

Convalescent Plasma Does Not Reduce Death Risk

Convalescent plasma treatment did not reduce the risk of death in the hospital over the month after treatment (37.3% convalescent plasma-treated, 38.4% usual care, not treated with convalescent plasma). The median number of days without the need for organ sustain (such as a mechanical ventilator or cardiac sustain) was 14 days in both groups. Serious negative events were reported in 3.0% of people treated with convalescent plasma and only 1.3% in the usual care group. Taken together, the weight of evidence now clearly demonstrates convalescent plasma is not a treatment option for people with mild, moderate, or already harsh COVID-19.

So, What Is The Treatment Option For COVID?

Experts say that the only tool to ward off the complexities of deadly coronavirus is by getting vaccinated. Vaccinations against coronavirus keep the major strategy to prevent the severity of the infection, However, the attention is now turning to some emerging and promising treatments to prevent COVID-19 worsening.

These include emerging antiviral treatments that may be used early in the disease, including monoclonal antibodies such as sotrovimab and AZD7442. Then there are possible oral antiviral medicines, such as molnupiravir and PF-07321332.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Post source: The Health Site

The post Can Plasma Therapy Help In Treating COVID-19? Study Sheds Light On Why COVID Convalescent Plasma Is No Longer In Use appeared first on 247 News Around The World.

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