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Convalescent Plasma Has Limited Benefit for Moderate COVID-19

Randomized phase II trial shows no drop in progression to severe disease, all-cause deaths

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FRIDAY, Oct. 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with moderate COVID-19, convalescent plasma does not reduce progression to severe COVID-19 or mortality, according to a study published online Oct. 22 in The BMJ.

Anup Agarwal, M.B.B.S., from the Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi, and colleagues conducted an open-label, parallel arm, phase II, randomized, controlled trial at 39 hospitals across India to examine the effectiveness of using convalescent plasma to treat moderate COVID-19. A total of 464 adults admitted to the hospital with confirmed moderate COVID-19 were randomly assigned to either convalescent plasma (two doses transfused 24 hours apart) with best standard of care (235 patients) or best standard of care only (299 patients).

The researchers found that at 28 days after enrollment, progression to severe disease or all-cause mortality occurred in 19 and 18 percent of patients in the intervention and control arms, respectively (risk difference, 0.008 [95 percent confidence interval, −0.062 to 0.078]; risk ratio, 1.04 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.71 to 1.54]).

"Although our study was underpowered, we did not find any benefit from convalescent plasma being administered within three days of symptom onset in COVID-19," the authors write.

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