Convalescent plasma safe, effective in early care of elderly COVID-19 patients
In the treatment of older patients with symptomatic COVID-19, early infusion of convalescent plasma (CP) with an adequate anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody-titre helps eliminate the virus, according to a study. It also improves survival by restoring immunity and halting the progression of the disease.
The study included 22 consecutive individuals aged ≥65 years who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction assay, had new onset or worsening of recent onset respiratory symptoms (<10 days), and evidence of pulmonary infiltrates by chest imaging and respiratory distress defined as moderate or severe.
Overall, 30 CP units were administered, with 15 patients receiving one unit each, six patients two units each, and one patient three units; each unit had a volume of 300 mL. Of the CP units transfused, 76.7 percent had a neutralizing antibody titre of ≥1:160.
The median interval between symptom onset and the first CP transfusion was 7 days, while that between transfusion of the first and second CP units was 3 days; the third CP unit given to a single patient was administered 3 days after the second one. No adverse reactions emerged during or after the transfusions.
All the 19 patients who survived exhibited improvements in clinical, functional, radiological, and laboratory parameters over 14 days following the initial CP administration. Viral clearance occurred by the end of follow-up (median, 66 days).
There were three deaths, with an overall mortality rate of 13.6 percent, which was significantly lower than the 38.3-percent rate seen in the control group (p=0.02). CP therapy yielded a 65-percent reduction in mortality risk.