The blood plasma of patients who have recovered from covid-19 will be used as an emergency treatment for those infected with the new coronavirus. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decision comes after public pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, despite the medical community asking for caution, as there are no conclusive studies on the use of this material to fight the disease.
After the blood is centrifuged and the red and white blood cells are removed, the plasma is the remaining golden liquid. Due to its emergency nature, the release does not make its use a new standard of treatment for covid-19, being applied only to reduce the severity of the disease in hospitalized people.
Studies on the use of plasma in the fight against the new coronavirus were being carried out at the Mayo Clinic and at Monte Sinai Hospital, and preliminary results pointed out that using the antibodies contained in the blood plasma of recovered patients may help improve the survival rate of people with the disease. Both studies, however, were conducted with small groups of patients and without control teams.
Not enough data
In early August, the FDA already had the authorization now in place, but suspended the announcement when researchers raised concerns about the lack of data strong enough to support the treatment. Immediately, Trump began to pressure the agency for the plasma treatment of convalescent patients to be released. A week ago, the American president said (without any evidence) that the delay would be politically motivated.