Convalescent plasma therapy ineffective in treating patients hospitalized with virus: Lancet

According to the leading medical journal Lancetconvalescent plasma therapy is ineffective in treating patients hospitalized with coronavirus.


The study indicated that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who were administered “convalescent plasma did not improve survival or other pre-specified clinical outcomes.”

The study was conducted between January 15 and May 28.

The Lancet researchers enrolled 11,558 of 16,287 recovering patients eligible to receive convalescent plasma and were assigned to either the convalescent plasma group or the usual care group.

“There was no significant difference in 28 days mortality between the two groups: 1,399 of 5,795 patients in the convalescent plasma group and 1,408 of 5,763 patients in the usual care group died within 28 days,” the journal said in its report.

The study found no evidence to suggest plasma therapy provided more benefit than usual coronavirus care. Therapy that uses the blood of people who have recovered from the virus is usually given to serious patients.

The study, in fact, called for more focus on other forms of treatment like the next generation antibody therapies. This is not the first time that the effectiveness of plasma therapy has been called into question.

Previously, the therapy had proven unsuccessful in a trial conducted by the ICMRalthough the body has yet to announce its final decision on therapy.

The ICMR found that using blood plasma as a form of treatment for coronavirus patients made no difference. The study involved 39 public and private hospitals.

In India, clinicians, public health professionals and scientists had written a letter to Professor K Vijay Raghavan who is the chief scientific adviser to the Indian government saying doctors in the country should stop using plasma therapy since “current research evidence unanimously indicates that there is no benefit offered by plasma convalescent”.

Similar research has also been carried out in the UK and Argentina with scientists concluding that plasma therapy made no difference in outcome.

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