What is convalescent plasma and how does it work?
According to the FDA, convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood collected from patients who have recovered from Coronavirus. These patients develop antibodies, proteins that might help fight the infection using plasma therapy.
Plasma from survivors gives patients an immediate injection of virus-fighting antibodies, so they don’t have to wait for their own immune systems to kick in. Plasma from the recovered patients is used to treat those sick with the same illness. It goes back more than a century and is used to stem outbreaks of polio, measles, mumps and influenza.
Plasma therapy shows promise as potential Coronavirus treatment
Though studies suggest convalescent plasma-therapy is effective in combating other Corona-viruses. There has been little evidence to suggest it can do the same for SARS-CoV-2.
The FDA issued guidance for health care providers that recommends using convalescent plasma therapy for clinical trials. And patients with serious or immediately life-threatening disease who aren’t eligible to participate in trials.
The future of convalescent plasma-therapy for COVID-19
An obstacle for convalescent plasma therapy is supply since there has been a great shortage of blood and hence blood plasma
Unlike manufactured antimicrobial medicines, convalescent plasma is a natural treatment that must be harvested from recovered COVID-19 patients who meet the criteria and are willing to donate.
Adding to the plus points, Plasma can be frozen and can be stored for up to 18 months.
To maximize donations, most centers use standard apheresis technology that separates the plasma from the blood, then pumps that blood back into the donor.