January 20, 2021

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WHO: Use of blood plasma is experimental therapy | PRESENT


GENEVA – The World Health Organization said today that the use of blood plasma to treat Covid-19 patients is still considered an "experimental" therapy and preliminary results showing that it may work are not yet "Conclusive".

President Donald Trump yesterday announced an emergency authorization to use blood plasma from people recovered from coronavirus to treat sick people.

The Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO's chief scientist, said convalescent plasma therapy has been used in the last century to treat numerous infectious diseases, with varying levels of success, but added that WHO still considers experimental therapy and should continue to be evaluated. He added that treatment is difficult to standardize, as people produce different levels of antibodies and plasma must be collected individually from recovered patients.

Swaminathan said the studies have been small and have provided "low-quality evidence." He indicated that countries can “make an emergency list if they feel the benefits outweigh the risks,” but that “generally is done when the most definitive evidence is expected.”

Dr. Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the CEO WHO said plasma therapy can have numerous side effects, from mild fever and chills to more severe lung-related reactions.



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