Plasma treatment of cured patients discontinued in the United States

Plasma treatment of cured patients discontinued in the United States

Plasma treatment of cured patients discontinued in the United States

The US National Institutes of Health on Tuesday announced that it would stop clinical trials on the effectiveness of treatment with blood plasma, taken from people cured of COVID-19, to treat patients who are sick, but not hospitalized, interim results no. ‘having not shown benefit.

• Read also: [EN DIRECT 2 MARS] All the developments of the pandemic

The trials began in August 2020. Just over 500 people participated after presenting to a hospital emergency room with mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19, not requiring hospitalization. The participants selected for this study also had risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease.

Some received the treatment, others a placebo, and the researchers then noted the number of people requiring additional emergency care, hospitalized or died in the following 15 days.

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A committee tasked with evaluating the data determined that “if the convalescent plasma had caused no harm, it was unlikely to benefit the group of patients,” the Institutes (NIH) wrote in a statement.

What is called convalescent plasma is the liquid part of the blood of a recovered patient, which concentrates the antibodies produced by the body to fight the virus after infection.

At the end of October, a study carried out in India and published in the medical journal BMJ had concluded that this treatment had “limited effectiveness”. According to the scientists, this method had not made it possible to reduce the mortality or to prevent, for the moderate patients, the progression to a severe case.

More than 100,000 people have received this treatment in the United States since the start of the pandemic, and many more around the world, note the NIH.

At the end of August, at the insistent request of Donald Trump, the United States Medicines Agency (FDA) urgently authorized the transfusion of blood plasma from people recovered from COVID-19 to hospitalized patients.

Its then leader, Stephen Hahn, admitted to being wrong during a press conference alongside Mr. Trump, citing figures greatly overestimating the benefits of this treatment.

The FDA recently restricted its emergency authorization to the use of plasma highly concentrated in antibodies only, and for hospitalized patients little advanced in the disease, or hospitalized and whose ability to produce antibodies is impaired.

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