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Plasma therapy safe and effective for Covid patients: Study

<p class="p1">In an ongoing study of more than 300 Covid-19 patients treated with convalescent plasma therapy in the US, researchers suggest that the treatment is safe and effective.</p>
<p class="p1">The study, published in the American Journal of Pathology, tracked 350 severely ill Covid-19 patients admitted to the Houston Methodist's system of eight hospitals from March 28 through July 6.</p>
<p class="p1">"Our studies to date show the treatment is safe and, in a promising number of patients, effective," said study author James M Musser from the Houston Methodist in the US.</p>
<p class="p1">"While convalescent plasma therapy remains experimental and we have more research to do and data to collect, we now have more evidence than ever that this century-old plasma therapy has merit, is safe and can help reduce the death rate from this virus," Musser added.</p>
<p class="p1">The research team found that those treated early in their illness with donated plasma that has the highest concentration of anti-Covid-19 antibodies are more likely to survive and recover than similar patients who were not treated with convalescent plasma.</p>
<p class="p1">Patients with a history of severe reactions to blood transfusions, those with underlying uncompensated and untreatable end-stage disease, and patients with fluid overload or other conditions that would increase the risk of plasma transfusion were excluded.</p>
<p class="p1">According to the study, the patients were tracked for 28 days after plasma transfusion and were compared to a control group of similar Covid-19 patients who did not receive convalescent plasma.</p>
<p class="p1">An observational propensity score-matched analysis was used to balance the characteristics of participants and allow for an objective interpretation of the results at this stage, the researchers said.</p>
<p class="p1">"These latest results offer valuable scientific evidence that transfusing critically ill Covid-19 patients with high antibody plasma early in their illness — within 72 hours after hospitalization proving most effective — reduced the mortality rate," the author wrote.</p>
<p class="p1">Several studies have measured safety, showing that the more than 34,000 Covid-19 patients in the US who have received plasma transfusions for Covid-19 experienced minimal adverse effects.</p>.