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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-32

Is convalescent plasma therapy effective for COVID-19? Our initial experience at tertiary care center

Department of Transfusion Medicine, Blood Bank, Yashoda Hospital, Secunderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Neha Jayant Hurkat
Department of Transfusion Medicine, Blood Bank, Yashoda Hospital, Secunderabad, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/GJTM.GJTM_111_20

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Background and Objectives: Previous studies suggest that convalescent plasma (CP) may be effective in improving survival rates in COVID-19 patients. But still there is uncertainty regarding effectiveness of CP in improving mortality or clinical improvement in COVID-19 patient as randomized studies were short of statistical significance. We aim to report our initial experience with CP transfusions for COVID 19 patients at a tertiary care set up with regard to its efficacy and safety in patients at various stages of disease. Methods: This is an observational study which includes 324 patients who have received convalescent plasma from 1st July to 31st August 2020 in a tertiary care set up. The outcome of the study was measured by recovery of the patient and discharge from hospital in stable condition. Recovery was defined as no fever for 3 consecutive days, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation returning to normal at room air and patient being hemodynamically stable. Results: The overall recovery was attained in 249/324 patients (76.9%) and 75/324 patients (23.1%) died in hospital. In moderate disease patients the recovery rate was found to be 96.1%. In Severe disease patients, 38.8% recovered and in critically ill patients, 23.4% recovered. 80.6% patients recovered who received plasma within 5 days of hospitalization where as only 67.4% patients recovered who received plasma after 5 days of hospitalisation indicating earlier administration of CP in disease course has better outcomes. SARS-CoV 2 IgG ab levels of CP units correlated with outcome. The recovery was significantly higher in patients who received CP with higher IgG values (>12) as compared to patients who received CP with lower IgG values (<12). No adverse effects of CP transfusion were reported. Conclusion: This study showed CP therapy was well tolerated and could potentially improve the clinical outcomes. Thus it is reasonable to consider CP therapy as an effective, safe and feasible therapeutic option for COVID-19 in the early course of disease.

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