ROCHESTER, Minn. - Mayo Clinic doctors and other health officials conducted a three month long study, finding COVID-19 patients transfused with convalescent plasma, which contains high levels of antibodies, are showing a greater survival rate.
If you're not familiar with convalescent plasma, it's the liquid part of blood that's collected when patients recover from COVID-19. Researchers found if the people who tested positive, receive plasma within 3 days of diagnosis, their mortality rate is lower. One Mayo Clinic doctor, Michael Joyner, M.D. said they're looking at two signs of effectiveness. One is the time from diagnosis to receiving the plasma. The second is the antibody levels in the plasma. "By signals of efficacy, we mean this is not a randomized clinical trial," said Dr. Joyner. "We couldn't compare treatment A versus treatment B and say one was more efficacious than the other or convalescent plasma versus placebo."
It's important to mention that this type of plasma has high levels of antibodies to fight COVID-19. The higher amount of antibodies means there's a better chance for you to survive. Dr. Joyner explained what the next steps are in this study. "We need to continue to look at our database and continue to try and understand what properties in convalescent plasma are associated with improved outcomes," said Dr. Joyner. "The volume convalescent plasma requires, or does it make a difference? How much do we need to give?"
Dr. Joyner said moving forward, they're going to determine if people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and are given convalescent plasma can build immunity to the disease. Mayo Clinic wants to make it known that this study was not intended to be a clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of convalescent plasma, but rather to increase access to plasma with the intent of helping severely ill COVID-19 patients.