LONDON: Plasma infusions do not aid the recovery of COVID-19 patients, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.
The study of 464 COVID-19 patients in India found that people who received plasma infusions were not less likely to die or progress to a more severe form of the disease.
This outcome showed that plasma infusions offered “no net clinical benefit to patients.”
Patients who received infusions did, however, experience an improvement in symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue.
Ian Jones, a professor of virology at Reading University, said: "The poor performance of convalescent plasma in this trial is disappointing but not entirely surprising. We still do not have enough treatments for the early stage of disease to prevent severe disease and, until this becomes an option, avoiding being infected with the virus remains the key message.”
Despite the slight improvements to fatigue and shortness of breath, Reading University cellular microbiology expert Simon Clarke said these were not enough to improve recovery from the disease.
“In simple terms, there were no clinical benefits to the patients,” he added.
Patients in India and the US have been receiving plasma infusions as part of their treatment, so news that the procedure has little or no effect on recovery is a significant setback.