Timing Plasma Use


Anchor lead: When should using convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 be tried? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Convalescent plasma, which is a component of the blood taken from people who’ve recovered from COVID-19, seems to help people who are hospitalized with the infection recover. Arturo Casadevall, an expert in antibody treatment of disease at Johns Hopkins, says timing may be critical to the success of treatment.

Casadevall: For plasma, the emerging data are that it reduces mortality if given early. My own view is that it should be given to anyone who gets admitted to the hospital, because the potential benefit outweighs any small risk and just getting admitted to the hospital has a tremendous likelihood of progression. So I think we’ve got safety, all the indicators are encouraging, we’re missing a definitive, case-controlled randomized trial.  :28

Casadevall says ongoing studies in the US hope to answer the question of efficacy but are still some time away from having sufficient numbers of patients to answer the question, while previous studies in China and Europe stopped early because fewer people were getting sick. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.