Plasma Therapy Inept in Reducing COVID-19 Death

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said Convalescent Plasma (CP) therapy did not help in reducing death due to COVID-19.

"CP was not associated with a reduction in mortality or progression to severe COVID-19," said the study, published in Medrxiv, a pre-print server for health sciences, reports Xinhua.

The study has not been peer-reviewed yet.

The top medical research body has made these revelations to investigate the effectiveness of plasma therapy for the treatment of COVID-19 after conducting a study in 39 hospitals across India.

For this, the ICMR researchers did an open-label, parallel-arm, phase II, multicenter, and randomized controlled trial from April 22 to July 14 this year. The trial was registered with the Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI) for the purpose, it said.

For the study 1,210 patients (moderately ill, confirmed COVID-19 cases) admitted across 39 trial sites were screened.

The participants were divided into two groups - the intervention arm of 235 participants received two doses of plasma at a 24-hour interval, while the control arm with 229 participants received the "best standard of care" (BSC) without plasma. All participants were hospitalized with moderate disease.

The primary outcome was measured on the basis of progression to severe disease or possible death, 28 days after enrolment.

Mortality among participants in the intervention and control arms was 13.6 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively. In both categories, the disease progressed to severe illness in 7.2 percent of the patients in the intervention arm and 7.4 percent of the patients in the control arm.

"The PLACID trial results indicate that there was no difference in 28-day mortality or progression to severe disease among moderately ill COVID-19 patients treated with CP along with BSC (best standard of care) compared to BSC alone," the report said.

Convalescent plasma therapy for COVID-19 involves the transfusion of a recovered patient's plasma into someone whose body has not been able to mount a strong enough response against the disease. The idea behind plasma therapy is to leverage the antibodies in a recovered patient's plasma to help others beat the disease.

ICMR has previously stated there was no robust evidence to support plasma therapy as COVID-19 treatment.


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