Blood from recovered COVID-19 patients helps current patients, small study shows

Preliminary results from a 10-person study show that a dose of antibodies from the blood plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients can help reduce the duration of symptoms, improve oxygen levels and speed up viral clearance among patients with COVID-19, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The study, published in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences of the United States of America), included 10 patients with severe COVID-19 in China. The patients received one dose of 200 mL of convalescent blood plasma derived from recently recovered COVID-19 patients.

The antibody dose was well-tolerated among the patients, with only one unexpected side effect: One patient developed a red bruise on the face. None of the patients died.

Clinical symptoms among the patients improved within three days after the dose was delivered.

One 46-year-old male patient with high blood pressure, who came to the hospital with fever, cough, shortness of breath and chest pain, and eventually went on a ventilator, received the antibody dose about 11 days after his symptoms appeared. The day after he received the dose, his blood tested negative for the new coronavirus infection, the LA Times reports. His blood oxygen levels rose, and he was taken off the ventilator.

Viral load was undetectable after the plasma transfusion in seven of the patients.

Three of the 10 patients were eventually discharged from the hospital, while the other seven were rated "much improved," the LA Times reports.

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