- Argentinian researchers conducted a study that suggests that plasma therapy has a negligible role in bringing down the Covid mortality rate.
- The researchers divided the patients into two groups – one received placebo therapy and the other plasma therapy.
- There was no significant difference in the overall mortality in both groups.
THD NewsDesk, Argentina: A recent study published in the globally recognized New England Journal of Medicine medical journal supports the claim that Plasma therapy negligibly beneficial in curbing the Covid mortality rate.
The study conducted by Argentinian researchers on 333 patients suggests that plasma therapy does not offer mortality benefit in Covid-19 patients.
Findings of the study
The participants were divided into two groups, 228 of whom received the experimental therapy. The first group was treated with convalescent plasma, while the other was administered a placebo.
After a month of treatment, it was discovered that there was a marginal difference between the overall mortality rate in both groups. While the overall mortality was 10.96% in the convalescent plasma group, it was 11.43% in the placebo group.
In contrast to the study conducted by ICMR, the NEJM study ensured that more than 95% of the transfused convalescent plasma units had a total anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titer 1:800. Moreover, the study’s authors confirmed that the plasma volume had a correction factor relative to the patient’s weight.
“This finding is in contrast to the findings of a series of non-randomized studies claiming convalescent plasma to be of substantial benefit and illustrates the importance of randomized, controlled trials, especially in the context of a pandemic,” they added.
Recently, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had also affirmed that administering plasma therapy did not decrease the risk of mortality in Covid patients. ICMR’s study aimed at analyzing the benefits of plasma therapy involved 464 Covid-19 patients.
“Mortality was documented in 34 (13.6%) and 31 (14.6%) participants in the intervention (those who received plasma therapy) and control arm (those who didn’t), respectively,” stated ICMR in a paper published in MedRXIV.
The ICMR study made many doctors doubt the efficiency of plasma therapy. Eventually, an updated standard operating procedure for plasma therapy was issued, advising states to refrain from using it in severe cases. The new notification suggested that the patient is in the early stage of Covid-19 to receive plasma therapy. Further, the treatment should be given within the initial 3-7 days when the symptoms surface. Specifying a potential donor’s qualifications, the guidelines said the donor should be in the age group of 18-65 years who, after 14 days of testing negative, can donate plasma.
However, these guidelines advising against plasma therapy were contested by public health activists based on the assumption that the result of ICMR’s study could be due to less neutralizing antibodies in few donors.
The recent global study published in NEJM provides an answer to the contradiction between medical experts supporting plasma therapy and the ICMR.
Source: ET Healthworld