COVID blood research

Safety and effectiveness of Convalescent Plasma therapy in severe COVID-19 cases

  • Research

A new study from RCSI has indicated that Convalescent Plasma therapy (CP) is a safe treatment for patients with severe COVID-19 but found no significant differences in patient outcomes.

Published in Nature – Scientific Reports, the study was conducted by RCSI in collaboration with the National Taskforce for combating COVID-19 and Royal Medical Services BDF Ministry of Health Bahrain.

CP therapy is a treatment in which blood donated by people who have recovered from an illness and who have developed antibodies as a result is given to patients to help their immune systems to fight the disease.

In this study, 40 patients of over 21 years of age and with severe COVID-19 disease were recruited from two medical centres in Bahrain between April and June 2020. Twenty of these patients received CP and 20 received standard therapy.

Patients who had recovered from COVID-19 and had been discharged from hospital for more than two weeks donated the plasma for the CP therapy. The plasma was then given to the COVID-19 patients using standard clinical transfusion procedures.

The study found that the use of CP therapy is safe for patients hospitalised with COVID-19 with no significant differences found in patient outcomes. The research paves the way for a larger study on the impact of the therapy on the requirement for and duration of ventilation in patients with severe COVID-19.

RCSI is committed to achieving a better and more sustainable future through the UN Sustainable Development Goals.