Since doctors and hospitals aren’t bound by these recommendations, it is useful to know the effectiveness and risks associated with plasma therapy in Covid treatment.
A number of clinical trials have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of plasma therapy to treat Covid-19. These include ICMR’s PLACID trial in India, the Recovery trial in the UK, and the PlasmAr trial from Argentina.
All these trials had similar outcomes. They all found that plasma therapy made no difference in mortality or the proportion of patients discharged from hospital.
The potential risks and side-effects of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 include:
- Allergic reactions
- Transfusion-associated circulatory overload
- Transfusion-associated acute lung injury
- Worsening of immune-related tissue damage
- Transfusions of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies leading to new variants
While convalescent plasma might be effective if the treatment is received within 72 hours of the first onset of symptoms, unfortunately, few Covid-19 patients are hospitalized in the first few days after their symptoms start.
The Indian government and the ICMR dropped the use of convalescent plasma from its guide for COVID-19 treatment. This was due to the fact that it was found not to be beneficial in the majority of cases reducing the progression to severe disease or death. Also, there was the risk of more virulent strains developing when plasma therapy is administered in critical cases with.