Improvement seen in COVID-19 patients given plasma transfusion: St Luke's doctors


Posted at Apr 16 2020 07:53 PM

MANILA - COVID-19 patients at the St. Luke's Medical Center who were placed under convalescent plasma therapy have been showing improvements, doctors said Thursday.

Dr. Mae Campomanes, a pulmonologist from St. Luke's, said coronavirus patients who underwent convalescent plasma therapy -- which transfuses blood from COVID-19 survivors that contains antibodies against the coronavirus -- have shown positive changes since their confinement.

"It is still too soon to say what the results are but we do see some improvements with the biochemical parameters or inflammatory markers, as well as oxygenation status," Campomanes told ANC.

Campomanes said patients showed signs of easing symptoms, including a better oxygenation status and lowering fever.

She said that based on studies in China, where COVID-19 first emerged, those critically ill from the virus could have benefits from convalescent plasma therapy, on top of other treatments that have been given to coronavirus patients.

"Later on, it has been seen that CT scan or radiographic exams improve in a week's time," Campomanes said.

She, however, said health institutions "still have to wait a little longer" before assuring the therapy is good treatment for COVID-19 patients.

To date, work on vaccines against the coronavirus continue.

According to Dr. Francisco Lopez, hematologist at St Luke's, they have given a total of 8 plasma transfusions after asking COVID-19 survivors to donate blood for the hospital’s experimental treatment.

"We started last Holy Saturday," he said.

The Philippine General Hospital, one of the country's referral hospitals for COVID-19 patients, earlier issued a call for the virus' survivors to donate blood for patients with severe symptoms of the disease.