A practical approach for the compassionate use of convalescent plasma in patients with severe COVID-19 in developing countries
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected 187 countries, representing a global public health problem. The increasing number of critically ill patients and deaths have fueled a desperate search for treatments that can halt the course of the disease. Currently, there are several experimental therapies with demonstrated in vitro activity against COVID-19 used in clinical practice, including hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, interleukin-6 pathway inhibitors, and convalescent plasma; however, to date no agent has proven efficacy against COVID-19. In the case of convalescent plasma, this therapy consists in obtaining neutralizing antibodies from previously infected individuals by plasmapheresis and administering them to patients with severe disease. Recently, the use of convalescent plasma has shown promising results in preliminary studies, with case series reporting a decrease in temperature, and viral load, as well as improvement in clinical parameters among patients receiving this treatment. However, there are still unmet needs regarding the safety profile, tolerability, dosage, and timing this therapy should be given. Based on this, the objective of our study was to develop and propose a practical approach for the compassionate use of convalescent plasma for the treatment of patients with severe COVID-19, given the constrains and limitations of developing countries. We encourage health professionals in developing countries to use the current evidence and approaches to experimental treatments for patients with COVID-19, adapting them to their conditions, and always based on a thorough risk-benefit evaluation for each patient, and whenever possible to design and promote the much needed research in this field.
Copyright (c) 2020 Brenner Elías Sabando Vélez, Carlos Plaza Meneses, Miguel Felix, Emanuel Vanegas, Valeria L. Mata, Horacio Romero Castillo, Jorge W. Oliveros Alvear, Enrique Boloña, Maria Alejandra Posligua, Luis Renato Layedra Bardi, Carlos Vera Paz, Ivan Cherrez-Ojeda
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