The US president on Sunday announced the permission to transfer blood plasma from patients cured by Covid-19 to hospital patients, a “historic breakthrough” according to him. This treatment, which is already used in some cases and whose exact effectiveness is still being discussed, aims to enable patients to eliminate the virus more quickly and limit damage to the body.
On Sunday, August 23, Donald Trump announced the state of emergency for the transmission of blood plasma from people cured by the coronavirus to hospitalized patients, a treatment that has already been widely used in the United States.
A few minutes before the US President’s press conference began, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had predicted it by announcing this state of emergency, which is his responsibility and not that of the head of state.
Donald Trump is criticized for his handling of the pandemic and is trying to revive himself by relying on therapeutic progress, although no effective treatment or vaccine is expected before the November 3 presidential election.
Transfusion of this plasma, which contains antibodies, is intended to enable patients to eliminate the virus more quickly and to limit damage to the body. If the treatment has already given results, its exact effectiveness is still being discussed. And it poses a risk of side effects and transmission of infectious agents.
Donald Trump called the announcement a “historic breakthrough” for the treatment of Covid-19, likely to “save a large number of lives.” However, the FDA has already approved plasma transfusions from coronavirus-derived individuals under certain conditions, as part of clinical trials or for patients in desperate circumstances.
More than 70,000 patients have already received a plasma transfusion taken from convalescent humans, according to US Health Secretary Alex Azar. The authorization issued on Sunday will make it possible to increase the population of patients likely to receive a transfusion.
35% higher survival
US Secretary of Health Alex Azar said early results showed a 35% higher survival rate for patients who received a transfusion.
In its announcement on Sunday, however, the FDA recalled that there was currently no formal evidence that plasma use was effective. “Plasma from converging humans probably works, although it should be confirmed by clinical trials, but not as an emergency treatment for seriously ill patients,” warns Dr. Len Horovitz, a respiratory trainee at Lenox Hospital Hill in New York. According to him, it would be more effective if it was administered at the very first signs of the disease, which will now be possible during the condition published on Sunday.
Donald Trump urged people recovering from coronavirus to donate their plasma via a national online platform.
Plasma therapy has already been approved in France, Austria, Switzerland, Cuba or China.
A Polish biotechnology company, Biomed Lublin, announced this week the launch of the first phase of production of a drug against Covid-19 based on plasma from recovered minors.