A NYU Grossman study found that transfusing blood plasma from treated patients with COVID-19 to patients with COVID with pre-existing conditions could improve the healing process.
According to the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University, blood transfusions to people previously cured of COVID-19 improve the condition of some who are currently infected with the virus. study published in late January. Since then, the Office of Food and Drug Administration has considered this procedure experimental sanctioning treatment for emergency treatment of hospitalized patients in August 2020.
The study analyzed 2,341 COVID-positive patients using eight randomized clinical trials from around the world. Treatment, known as convalescent plasma, has been particularly strong for certain groups: patients with mild symptoms and patients with previous illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or lung disease.
“This study is an international collaboration on four continents and six countries to bring together information from studies in different patient groups to provide reliable information on the potential benefits of convalescent plasma in the treatment of COVID-19,” said Andrea Troxel, lead researcher and Professor Grossman. “Because the study was so large and the methods so rigorous, we were able to show that while it does not benefit all patients, it may have a positive effect in some subgroups.”
Professor Grossman Eva Petkova, another research researcher, said patients with pre-existing conditions are likely to benefit most from treatment because their ability to produce antibodies after COVID-19 infection is impaired. Treatment is not as effective for all hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, studies of convalescent plasma have led to mixed conclusions about its effectiveness, which prompted debate about whether to continue treatment.
“It seems obvious that there is a narrow window in which convalescent plasma can be effective,” Troxel said. “If patients are already hospitalized and seriously ill, as in our study, it may be too late for the convalescent plasma to work.”
After Grossman’s research, Pyatkov led the secondary school study develop a calculator of benefits from plasma convalescence treatment, which details the effectiveness of the procedure for different patients. The index allows clinicians to introduce existing conditions and diseases to their patients to determine their eligibility for treatment.
“We obtained a linear combination of baseline patient characteristics that shows the expected benefit of convalescent plasma treatment compared to non-convalescent plasma treatment for individual patients,” Petkova said.
A secondary study analyzed 2,287 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 to develop a set of guidelines for the use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for infected patients. With Petkova’s study, doctors will receive more information to decide whether convalescent plasma is appropriate for a given patient.
“If this probability is low, the clinician will probably choose another treatment, but if the probability is high, they may decide to continue treatment of the patient with convalescent plasma,” Said Troxel. “The new methods we have developed are a model for future cooperation, especially in crisis situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.”
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