Convalescent plasma offers little benefit to severe COVID-19 patients, study suggests

While convalescent plasma was among the arsenal of tools to fight COVID-19 in the first few months of the pandemic, it has little effect on improving outcomes among critically ill COVID-19 patients, according to research published Oct. 4 in JAMA

The study involved 2,011 severely ill COVID-19 patients across 129 sites in four countries, including the U.S. About half received two units of high-titer convalescent plasma, while the other half did not.

Treatment with convalescent plasma did not significantly reduce the number of days spent on life support, findings showed. 

"Among critically ill adults with confirmed COVID-19, treatment with convalescent plasma had a low likelihood of providing improvement in organ support-free days," researchers said. 

The in-hospital mortality rate for the convalescent plasma group was 37.3 percent and slightly higher at 38.4 percent among those who didn't receive it. 

For both groups, the median number of days alive and free of organ support was 14. 


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