A promising blood plasma treatment for Covid-19 does not decrease deaths among hospital patients, studies show. The findings are a disappointment to researchers and the NHS, which has led the push to collect donations of plasma. This arm of the Rehabilitation trial has now been closed, which is researching a variety of successful Covid-19 therapies. The participating Oxford researchers claim they are "incredibly grateful" for the contributions of patients around the country. According to NHS Blood and Transplant, donations of plasma have been temporarily halted. The role of convalescent plasma as a potential treatment for hospital patients with Covid-19 has been of immense international interest.
Treatment includes taking blood plasma from persons who have recovered from the disease, which contains coronavirus antibodies, and transfusing it into patients who are seriously ill. The plasma donation was hoped to provide a boost to the recipient's struggling immune system to fend off Covid-19. The NHS has urged individuals, particularly men who are thought to have higher levels of antibodies in their blood, to donate. In a survey of 10,400 United Kingdom patients, an early review of 1,873 fatalities found that the treatment made "no significant difference". Around 18 percent of patients died within 28 days in the group treated with convalescent plasma - the same number for the group treated with regular care. Study patients are still being tracked and the final reports will be reported shortly. A new report found no evidence earlier this week that the same medication improved outcomes for intensive care patients.