Chinese health officials on Monday urged patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate blood so that plasma can be extracted to treat others who are critically ill.
Plasma from patients who have recovered from a spell of pneumonia triggered by the virus contains antibodies that can help reduce the virus load in critically ill patients, said Guo Yanhong, who heads the National Health Commission’s medical administration department
Eleven patients at a hospital in Wuhan received plasma infusions last week, said Sun Yanrong, of the Biological Center at the Ministry of Science and Technology. “One patient (among them) has already been discharged, one is able to get off the bed and walk and the others are all recovering,” she said.
The call comes days after state-owned medical products maker reported successful results from its trial at a Wuhan hospital. China National Biotec Group Co. said that severely ill patients receiving plasma infusions “improved within 24 hours”.