Use of Convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 hailed as beneficial

−Four persons recovered via this method

The use of convalescent plasma therapy has been explored for years and has now become essential in treating severely ill COVID-19 patients.

Cardiologist at the Georgetown Hospital Corporation, Dr. Mahendra Carpen, disclosed that at the end of July, four COVID-19 patients were treated with convalescent plasma and have fully recovered.

Dr. Carpen noted that this is one of the many interventions the GPHC is proud of since it is one of the pioneering institutions for such treatments.

More specifically, he said, “I believe it is the only hospital in the country that has employed this strategy and among very few in CARICOM can successfully collect, process, transfuse and maintain a good safety profile for the use of this therapy.”

In the past, this method of treatment has been used to during the Spanish flu, and to treat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and other pandemics.

Blood from persons who would have recovered from severe, deadly illnesses is called convalescent plasma. “We take the blood from recovered COVID-19 patients, assuming that they have these defence mechanisms or antibodies in sufficient quantities and then we give it to compatible patients. It is very similar to a blood transfusion.” Dr. Carpen explained

“We then process it in a normal sterile manner that is compatible with transfusions and we give it to people who are sicker and are in hospital and require more than antibiotics and other medical management strategies that we have,” he added

The four persons who have recovered were among those who volunteered to be on the clinical trial for this treatment. The possibility for trials to be rolled out was explored after the onset of COVID-19 in Guyana.

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