According to a new study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, transfusions of blood plasma with high concentrations of COVID-19 antibodies have reduced the number of deaths in some patients infected with the virus, thus giving credibility to the one of the few known treatments for the disease.
“Early administration of high-titre convalescent SARS-CoV-2 plasma to mildly ill elderly people reduced the progression of Covid-19,” the researchers concluded.
The study was published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, along with an editorial explaining how the treatment works, titled “(A Little) Clarity on Convalescent Plasma for Covid-19”.
“I think it’s up to the medical community to continue to innovate and test therapies for treatment. In fact, we are months away from getting a substantial number of people vaccinated, ”Dr. R. Scott Wright, the Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 plasma therapy program coordinator, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Patients who received antibody-rich plasma in the first three days of treatment saw better results, but the treatment was less effective on those who were treated for longer and had to be put on ventilators, the researchers found. .
“Patients who were on a ventilator saw no benefit,” Dr. Wright told the Star-Tribune. “It was too late.”
The study examined 3,082 patients and found a 25% lower risk of death in patients who received antibody-rich plasma.