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FDA facilitating use of blood plasma treatment for critically-ill COVID-19 patients

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-03-26 14:34

Donated blood is collected at LA Care after California issued a stay-at-home order due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Los Angeles, California, US, March 24, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON -- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said it is facilitating access to the use of a blood plasma treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.

Convalescent plasma that contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is possibly effective against the infection, the FDA said in a news release on Tuesday.

COVID-19 convalescent plasma must only be collected from recovered individuals if they are eligible to donate blood, the agency added.

The FDA will use multiple pathways to support these efforts and has posted information for investigators wishing to study convalescent plasma for use in COVID-19 patients under emergency protocols, according to the release.

The FDA is continuing to work with its government partners including the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop master protocols for use in order to coordinate the collection and use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma, said the release.

Use of convalescent plasma has been studied in outbreaks of other respiratory infections, including the 2009-10 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, and the 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic, according to the FDA.

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