A clinical trial of thousands of patients found that convalescent plasma is safe for COVID-19 patients.
Researchers administered the plasma to 8,932 hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening disease as part of the FDA’s Expanded Access Program for the experimental treatment.
Data from the first 5,000 patients showed that the incidence of all serious adverse events in the first four hours after transfusion was less than 1 percent. After seven days of transfusion, the mortality rate was 14.9 percent.
This trial was not designed to evaluate the efficacy of the convalescent plasma as a COVID-19 treatment, which the trial investigators suggested should be studied next.
“Given the deadly nature of COVID-19 and the large population of critically ill patients included in these analyses, the mortality rate does not appear to be excessive,” the study concluded.
The FDA began a nationwide effort in April to investigate convalescent plasma and hyperimmune globulin, a related treatment, as therapies for COVID-19 (DID, April 3).
Access the study here: https://bit.ly/3bBlsnM. — Jordan Williams