FDA Approves Blood Plasma Therapy for COVID-19 Patient
We've previously reported at HealthDay about the potential for COVID-19 survivors' blood to help save currently sick patients. Now, the FDA has approved plasma therapy as a treatment option for critically ill COVID-19 patients. The first approval is for a human trial on a critically ill COVID-19 patient at Houston Methodist Hospital. The idea behind the treatment is that the survivors' blood has antibodies in it that helped fight and kill the virus, which can help the still-sick person's body fight off the virus using the other person's COVID-19-fighting antibodies.
By tracking able and willing donors among the roughly 250 patients who had tested posited for COVID-19 and recovered at Houston Memorial Hospitals, physician scientists had a supply of plasma ready and waiting for FDA approval. Each qualified donor gave one quart of blood plasma. The hope is if transfused plasma can help the critically ill fight the virus, plasma therapy could be the stop gap needed to fight the virus until such time as drug combinations are found to treat COVID-19.
"Here at Houston Methodist, we have the capability, the expertise and the patient base from our health care system, and we feel obligated to try this therapy," said Houston Methodist CEO and President, Marc Boom.