New Delhi: Scientists have said that the convalescent plasma therapy, which uses the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients as a potential treatment has shown limited effects in reducing the progression into severe diseases, or death.
The study which was published on the British Medical Journal (BMJ) involved a total of 464 adult moderate COVID-19 patients, who were admitted to hospitals between April to July in India. Out of which, 239 patients received two 200 millilitres of transfusions of convalescent plasma, 24 hours apart. They also received the best standard of care. While the control group, comprising of 229 patients received only the standard care.
A month later, it was observed that 19% of patients who received plasma transfusion had progressed to severe diseases compared to 18% of patients in the control group. Plasma therapy has helped in reducing various symptoms, such as shortness of breath, and fatigue after seven days of treatment. The patients in the study were at least 18-years of age.
The professor from the University of Oxford, UK, Professor Martin Landray says that even if there is substantial interest in plasma therapy as the treatment of COOVID, there also lies uncertainty of whether it will be able to tackle the worst effects of the disease.
The Professor of Virology, Professor Ian Jones from the University of Reading, UK said that although it is disappointing to see the poor performance of plasma therapy, however, it is not surprising. Jones said, "The treatment, which delivers antibodies from COVID survivors to infected persons is, in essence, intended as an anti-viral treatment and like all antivirals, the window of opportunity to stop an acute infection is very short."