Results from Trinity Health Of New England’s clinical trial involving the use of donor convalescent blood plasma to treat those with advanced cases of coronavirus disease 2019 suggests the treatment is safe, with potential for positive clinical outcomes for those infected.
“Our results suggest that convalescent plasma is safe and has the potential for positive impact on clinical outcomes including recovery and survival if given to patients early in the course of COVID-19,” said Dr. Latha Dulipsingh, one of the trial’s investigators, in a statement.
Dulipsingh is director of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology Center within the regional system as well as chair of its review board.
The Hartford-based system, part of multi-state Trinity Health, received approval in April from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to launch its own clinical trial studying the safety and efficacy of administering blood plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to patients considered severely or critically with it.
Trinity’s study involved 38 patients who were referred by their health care provider and who were either severely ill with COVID-19, that is, experiencing some difficulty breathing and showing lower levels of oxygen in their blood, or critically ill, with symptoms like respiratory failure. Their mean age was 63, and 53% were male; 34%, black; 34%, Hispanic, and 32%, white.
According to the report, patients who received convalescent plasma early in the progression of their disease, that is, at the severe stage, had significantly lower hospital mortality – 13% versus 55% – and shorter hospital stays – 15.4 versus 33 days – compared to patients treated at the critical stage in the presence of acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Other factors said to be “significantly associated with good clinical outcomes” in the trial included shorter durations between symptoms onset and convalescent plasma administration and hospital admission and administration of convalescent plasma.
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