5 US coronavirus patients begin treatment using blood from recovered patients

Five COVID-19 patients in the U.S. are being treated with plasma from the blood of recovered coronavirus patients — the first in the country to receive this treatment, according to a USA Today report.

The five patients, in New York and Houston, are receiving the convalescent plasma in hopes that antibodies in it will be able to fight the novel coronavirus.

Researchers have said that the treatment, which has been used to curb such viral disease epidemics as measles, mumps and influenza, could be effective.

A study published March 27 in the Journal of the American Medical Association describes the use of convalescent plasma on five critical COVID-19 patients in China, and the results were promising.

But it is not certain the treatment will be effective. It's a gamble of time, energy and money, William Schaffner, MD, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious disease at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., told USA Today.

In the U.S., there is a national effort to conduct clinical trials to test this treatment in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Dubbed the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, it included more than 100 researchers and 40 large hospitals in 20 states as of March 30.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 can register on the project's website to see if they are eligible to donate plasma and find the plasma donation program nearest to them.




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