Is it possible to treat COVID-19 by transfusion of plasma and how it is obtained

For the invention of the vaccine COVID-19 can take months. But theoretically, patients can treat with transfusion of blood plasma already recovered individuals, writes the Present time.

Можно ли лечить COVID-19 переливанием плазмы и как ее получают

Photo: Shutterstock

In response to bacterial or viral pathogens b-lymphocytes of the sick person produce antibodies. Among these manufacturers – and b-lymphocytes memory. When the body meets again an old disease, they quickly produce lots of antibodies. Those struggling with the disease themselves or attract other components of the immune system to help.

A transfusion of blood plasma with antibodies from Ebola survivors can create acquired passive immunity in the patient, helping him to fight the infection.

The head of the Institute of Hematology, immunology and cell technologies in Moscow, Dr. Andrei Maschan, for example, asks whether the antibodies in sufficient quantity to get into the lung and bronchial tissue of critically ill.

“For me, more or less obvious that the best results from the use of plasma will be obtained only if it will be applied in the so-called preemptive mode, i.e. with the appearance of those signs of infection, which can cause serious pulmonary complications and, in particular, exposure to ventilator, says Maschan. – But if you inject plasma that contains anti-viral antibodies to patients, who are already on mechanical ventilation and have severe damage to lung tissue, here the probability of therapeutic effects are much lower.”

The fact that treatment with plasma transfusions may be effective, mankind knows for a long time. So was treating patients during the Spanish flu pandemic, and even earlier – patients with diphtheria and bacterial diseases.

With the development of vaccinations and antibiotics plasma transfusion has gone by the wayside, but in recent years it began to use in the fight against new diseases.

“The transfusion was effective during previous epidemics. There have been positive results during the swine flu epidemic H1N1 in 2008-2009,” explains Dr. David reik from the medical complex mount Sinai hospital in new York.

The researchers emphasize there is still much to learn about coronavirus and how to effectively deal with it. Now clinical trials on plasma transfusion is performed in the hospital mount Sinai in new York. There the plasma of donors were 35 patients with COVID-19.

“We are incredibly closely monitor their progress and other indicators, says Dr. Anna Weinberg from mount Sinai. – I hope in two weeks we will be able to tell you and the world that we could find at the moment. For example, if they can be re-infected? How long will they have immunity? How long their immunity will be persistent? We will study all. For employees of the health system and potentially for citizens around the world, when they return to everyday life, this information can have huge consequences.”

Even if it turns out that plasma transfusion is safe and helps patients COVID-19, large-scale use of this treatment problematic.

“Plasma transfusions from survivors coronavirus is very promising, it is tempting, of course, the perspective and method of treatment, but, first, it is necessary to have a sufficient number, and secondly, it must be applied early, before irreversible lung damage,” says Dr. Maschan.

Scientists will continue to study the method of transfusion of donor plasma with antibodies against coronavirus infection and at the same time continue to develop a vaccine.

What is plasmapheresis, and is it different from passing the whole blood?

Plasmapheresis is the selective removal of plasma from an organism. Plasma — liquid part of blood. It contains a wide variety of substances: proteins (including coagulation factors), lipids, carbohydrates, hormones, vitamins, salts essential for building body tissues and maintaining their activity, as well as organic substances that regulate metabolism. Plasma is widely used for therapeutic purposes in surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, Oncology and other areas of medical practice.

  • Plasma you can take to 6-12 times per year at intervals of not less than 2 weeks
  • Plasma is restored within a few days
  • The process of withdrawal of plasma is about 40 minutes
  • The procedure of plasmapheresis performed in two ways: discrete and hardware
  • Maximum volume of one plasmode does not exceed 600 ml



Можно ли лечить COVID-19 переливанием плазмы и как ее получают

Video screenshot: Donor plasmapheresis — method of receipt from donor plasma and return formed elements of blood. Canadian Blood Services/YouTube

Read more about the procedure and who can be a donor of blood and its components can be found on the website of the humanitarian organization “Red cross” in the United States.

As previously wrote ForumDaily:

  • Study: nearly all patients with COVID-19 in new York city share one thing
  • Future after coronavirus: the way I see scientists, writers and journalists
  • Green tea, marijuana and coronavirus: dispel myths about treatment and risks
  • What are the myths about the immune system can seriously harm your health








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