Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Research has demonstrated that convalescent plasma could dwindle down death rates due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). However this blood taken from a COVID-19 survivor could not be used as the sole solution to the pandemic, the number of cases from 213 countries and territories as of 10:52 GMT of Sept. 15 (Tuesday) was at 29,473,509 with 21,297,959 recoveries and 933,412 deaths.
On behalf of his colleagues for the “Effect of Convalescent Plasma on Hospitalised Patients with COVID19: Initial Three-Month Experience,” cardiologist Dr R. Scott Wright in an email interview wrote: “The use of convalescent plasma was safe, well-tolerated and possibly beneficial in a subset of patients.”
He explained that convalescent plasma, in over a century, “has been given to patients with acute respiratory illnesses when the pathogen was novel, new or there are no other treatments available.”
“The patient who receives the convalescent plasma may see their own immune system boosted by factors contained in the plasma which helps him fight infection quickly and effectively,” he also said.
Wright was asked for the recommendations of the medical specialists-researchers that monitored the 35,322 hospitalised COVID-19 patients from participating hospitals in the US and its territories.
He stated: “Convalescent plasma may be considered as one of several concurrent treatments for patients who are critically ill.
“Decisions about the use of any treatment for COVID-19 should be (tailor-made),” Wright said.
On the question of whether convalescent plasma therapy would help resolve or be the solution to the disease and pandemic, he wrote: “No. The use of convalescent plasma will not be a single solution for the COVID-19 pandemic. (Its) use may be helpful in specific patient scenarios when combined with other medical treatments for the critically-I’ll, hospitalized patient with COVID-19.”
Wright is affiliated with the Mayo Clinic Health Systems and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota (US), part of the international chain of Mayo Clinic that operates in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City in the capital.
Mayo Clinic with its protocols “within the bioethical framework for monitoring safety, tolerability, potential efficacy and compliance with all regulations” was chosen to lead the study under the Expanded Access Program of the US through its Food and Drug Administration “for convalescent plasma as a treatment for hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Wright and his colleagues worked with the participating hospitals from April 4 to July 4. The demographics of the 35,322 hospitalized COVID-19 patients transfused with convalescent plasma: 18,473 (52.3 per cent) intensive care unit patients; 9,714 (27.5 per cent) on mechanical ventilation; 14,129 (40 per cent) women; 21,193 (60 per cent) men; 13,422 (38 per cent) Latinos/Hispanics; 6,712 (19 per cent) African Americans; and 1,413 (four per cent) Asians.
The subset Wright had referred to previously was at 3,082 patients. They were found (to have) lower mortality associated with plasma transfusions that contained higher levels of antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Specifically, the seven-day mortality rate was reduced in patients transfused within three days of COVID-19 diagnosis compared with patients transfused four or more days after COVID-19 diagnosis. Similar trends were seen for 30-day mortality rate.
Moreover, the use of convalescent plasma with higher antibody levels was associated with reduced seven-day and 30-day mortality.
In another health news, the Union 71 of the ADQ holding company in Abu Dhabi was inaugurated on Tuesday as the newest laboratory testing company for healthcare providers across the seven emirates.
It would initially serve all SEHA hospitals and clinics.
ADQ chief investment officer Jaap Kalimantan said: Union 71 will focus on delivery faster, lower cost and more accessible testing through a diagnostic-based approach.”
A total of 66 proposals for research revolving around the COVID-19 pandemics have been submitted to find out possible solutions for betterment of the society. A fund of Dhs5 million has been allocated for this research.
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