March 30, 2020

Treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

In this preliminary uncontrolled case series of five critically ill COVID-19 and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients, administration of convalescent plasma containing neutralizing antibody was followed by improvement in their clinical status.

All five patients (age 36-65 years, 2 women and 3 men) were on mechanical ventilation, and all had received antiviral agents and methylprednisolone.


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After plasma transfusion:

  • body temperature normalized within 3 days in four patients
  • Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score decreased
  • ratio of arterial oxygen partial pressure to fractional inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2) increased within 12 days
  • viral loads decreased and became negative within 12 days
  • ARDS resolved in 4 patients at 12 days
  • 3 patients were weaned from mechanical ventilation within 2 weeks.

Of the five patients, three have been discharged (length of stay: 53, 51, and 55 days), and two are in stable condition at 37 days after plasma transfusion.

The findings require evaluation in clinical trials, the researchers note.

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