According to Hamad Medical Corporation's (HMC) Medical Director of Communicable Disease Center, Dr. Muna Al Maslamani, Qatar has already treated 1,883 COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma.
Dr. Al Maslamani told The Peninsula Qatar that treating patients with convalescent plasma early on, has shown an improved survival rate and may also lessen or shorten the duration of the illness. Also, the success level of this therapy varied from one COVID-19 patient to another one.
"Evidence from clinical trials supports the practice of administering convalescent plasma early in the disease course and using plasma with higher levels of SARS-CoV2-specific antibodies. Early administration, good titer – randomised trials using convalescent plasma early in the course of the disease have shown improved survival.” (The Peninsula Qatar)
According to Dr. Al Maslamani, the US Food and Drug Administration has allowed the use of convalescent plasma therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic because, so far, there is no approved treatment for COVID-19.
In convalescent plasma therapy, blood is taken from individuals who have already had the COVID-19 infection because it has antibodies that work against COVID-19, and used to help other COVID-19 patients recover from the virus. This blood is first processed to remove the blood cells, so that only liquid plasma and antibodies are left behind. When this plasma is given to individuals suffering from the infection, it helps boost their ability and immunity to fight it off. Plasma from one recovered patient can be used to treat one to two infected patients. (HMC)
Further reading: What is Convalescent Plasma and how does it treat COVID-19?
Any individual who has completed the two week period after they have recovered and been discharged from the hospital or isolation is eligible to donate plasma and can contact the team from Communicable Disease Center on +974 4025400.
Sources: The Peninsula Qatar; HMC
Cover image credit: Shutterstock
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