FDA approves convalescence plasma treatment for COVID-19 patients

June 17, 2020 / Comments (0)

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The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has approved an investigational convalescent plasma collected from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 for the treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients in Ghana.

The Presidential Advisor on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, who made this known on Tuesday, June 16, said the approval was given on Monday, June 15.

According to him, government through the Ghana Health Service (GHS) was working with all the key stakeholders including the COVID-19 Treatment Team, to ensure the success of this intervention.

What is convalescent plasma

Convalescent plasma (CP) is the term used for plasma that is removed from the blood of a person who has recovered from a disease, then transfused into a patient still battling it.

Researchers hope that CP can be given to people with severe COVID-19 to boost their ability to fight the virus. It also might help keep people who are moderately ill from becoming more ill and experiencing COVID-19 complications.

National Blood Service

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Blood Service, Dr Justina Ansah, had earlier at a programme to commemorate the 2020 World Blood Donor Day on Monday, June 15 explained that plasma intervention was based on research that patients who had recovered from disease outbreaks such as COVID-19, had a robust immune response to infections.

She said the antibodies in the plasma of recovered patients could, therefore, be transfused to other COVID-19 patients to aid their recovery from the infection.

She encouraged all recovered COVID-19 patients to step forward and donate their plasma to save the lives of other patients in critical conditions.

Life saving drug

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that a cheap and widely available drug called dexamethasone can help save the lives of patients who are seriously ill with COVID-19.

According to the report, the low-dose steroid treatment is a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus as it cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators, while it cuts deaths by a fifth for those on oxygen.

It said the drug was part of the world’s biggest trial testing existing treatments to see if they also work for coronavirus.

Source: Graphic Online

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