Donate blood plasma to treat the coronavirus in China
Although more testing is needed, scientists believe that patients recovering from the coronavirus should donate blood plasma. This could help the seriously ill to develop resistance to the infection. For this reason, Chinese health authorities on Monday asked patients who defeated the virus to donate blood. Doctors can use this to extract plasma to treat other seriously ill people.
Donate resistant blood plasma
Drug manufacturers are working to develop a vaccine and treatment for the epidemic. The number of deaths has recently risen to 1,770, while the virus has infected over 70,500 across China. Plasma from patients who have recovered from pneumonia caused by COVID-19 contains antibodies. These can help reduce the viral load in critically ill patients. An official from the Chinese National Health Commission said in a press conference on Monday.
“I would like to ask all healed patients to donate their plasma so that they can bring hope to critically ill people,” said Guo Yanhong. He is the head of the medical administration department of the health commission. Eleven patients in a hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the disease, received plasma infusions last week. Sun Yanrong from the Biological Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology reported.
“One patient among them has already been discharged, one can get up and go from bed, and the others are all recovering,” she said.
The call comes days after China's state-owned medical device manufacturer reported successful results of its study at Wuhan First People’s Hospital. China National Biotec Group Co. said in a post on its official WeChat profile that critically ill patients who received plasma infusions improved their health within 24 hours.
“Clinical studies have shown that plasma infusion from cured patients is safe and effective,” said Sun.
Blood donors are being tested to make sure they don't carry the virus, said Wang Guiqiang, chief medical officer at Beijing University First Hospital.
“We only take plasma from blood donations, not all of the blood,” he said. “Other blood components, including red blood cells and platelets, are re-infused into the donor.”
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