MANILA - The Lung Center of the Philippines said Monday it had started using plasma treatment for patients with severe symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The hospital late last week drew blood from patients who have recovered from the disease, said Dr. Antonio Ramos, head of the Lung Cente's administrative services.
Plasma therapy transfuses plasma from survivors of the respiratory disease, in hopes that the donor's antibodies will speed up the recipient's recovery.
"Kakasimula lang ng Lung Center kasi nag-concentrate kami sa testing... We're very happy that we're joining this mode of treatment," Ramos told DZMM.
(The Lung Center has just started with plasma therapy because we concentrated before on testing.)
The Lung Center has "more than 50" COVID-19 patients, of whom "below 10" have severe symptoms and needed ventilators to help them breathe, Ramos said.
Convalescent plasma has been proven "effective and life-saving" against other infectious diseases, including rabies and diphtheria, Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO's health emergencies program, earlier said.
"Because what hyperimmune globulin does is it concentrates the antibodies in a recovered patient. You are essentially giving the new victim's immune system a boost of antibodies to hopefully get them through the very difficult phase," he told reporters.
"So it must be given at the right time, because it mops up the virus in the system, and it just gives the new patient's immune system a vital push at the time it needs it. But it has to be carefully timed and it's not always successful."
With a report from Agence France-Presse