Convalescent Plasma therapy, or simply Plasma therapy, is a medical procedure where patients who have recovered from COVID-19 donate their blood to infected patients to develop antibodies that will help to fight the infection. Plasma therapy has been used for a long time to treat respiratory diseases, such as the SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, the H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, and the MERS-CoV epidemic.
How does Plasma Therapy Work?
Plasma therapy uses antibodies, a type of protein produced by plasma, from patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19. Let us see how it works,
- Blood is taken from a person who has recently recovered from COVID-19.
- The plasma component from the blood is separated, which contains the antibodies for the virus.
- This is then injected into an infected person. The antibodies present in the plasma will help in fighting the virus and stop it from spreading.
Once the therapy is complete and the patient has recovered, they will also be asked to donate their blood so that other infected patients can be treated.
How effective is Plasma therapy for treating COVID-19?
Convalescent Plasma Therapy has been in use for nearly a century, treating different kinds of diseases. Data collected from the prior MERS and SARS coronavirus outbreaks suggest that this therapy is safe, has clinical benefits, and has been seen to reduce the recovery period in patients, especially if received early in the course. Multiple studies have reported the use of Plasma therapy to treat COVID-19 patients without serious side effects.
The COVID-19 virus is rapidly mutating, which means that its nature changes from time to time. With such a peculiar virus, any form of therapy that is remotely effective should be embraced. Plasma therapy, which has proven to have clinical benefits, is one such therapy that medical professionals use to treat COVID-19 patients.
Are there any risks to Plasma Therapy? If yes, then what are they?
When it comes to Convalescent Plasma Therapy, there are not many severe risks attached to this form of treatment. However, there have been a few risks of plasma transfusion, they are,
- Allergic Reactions.
- Transfusion-associated Circulatory Overload.
- Transfusion-associated acute lung injury.