Why don’t clinical trials provide support for convalescent plasma therapy for COVID? Elizabeth Tracey reports

September 20, 2021

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Antibodies in the blood of people who’ve had COVID and recovered can help others avoid severe cases of the disease, use of this treatment in some has shown. Yet when larger scale clinical trials were undertaken, results were largely lackluster, and the treatment has fallen by the wayside. Arturo Casadevall, a convalescent plasma expert at Johns Hopkins, reflects on why results were mixed.

Casadevall: Last year there was a lot of excitement for convalescent plasma, half a million people got treated. Then came some really poorly designed clinical trials. People were treated very late. Well, if you do a trial and it didn’t work because you set it up not to work then plasma doesn’t work. And then what happened is there was a reduction in use. We were able to document that as the use went down more people died.  :26

Casadevall says convalescent plasma is a viable treatment for COVID infection, and he’s trying to make both physicians and patients aware of the need to use it early in the infection to maximize its benefits. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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