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COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma FAQ

FAQs

What is convalescent plasma?

  • Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is collected from patients who have recovered from an infection.
  • Antibodies present in convalescent plasma are proteins that might help fight the infection.
 Why is convalescent plasma being investigated to treat COVID-19?
  • Convalescent plasma is being investigated for the treatment of COVID-19 because there is no approved treatment for this disease and there is some information that suggests it might help some patients recover from COVID-19.
  • Further investigation is still necessary to determine if convalescent plasma might shorten the duration of illness, reduce morbidity, or prevent death associated with COVID-19.
Is convalescent plasma safe and effective against COVID-19?
  • It is not known if convalescent plasma will be an effective treatment against COVID-19.
  • Plasma transfusions are generally safe and well-tolerated by most patients, but can cause allergic reactions and other side effects. It is also not known if patients with COVID-19 might have other types of reactions to convalescent plasma.
  • While it is not known if convalescent plasma is safe and effective against COVID-19, there is anecdotal evidence that convalescent plasma might be for some patients.
  • Because there are no approved treatments, FDA is permitting the emergency investigational use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 under the criteria of the emergency IND.
I recently recovered from COVID-19, can I donate convalescent plasma?
  • COVID-19 convalescent plasma must only be collected from recovered individuals if they are eligible to donate blood.
  • Individuals must have had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test and meet other laboratory criteria.
  • Individuals must have fully recovered from COVID-19, with complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days before donation of convalescent plasma.
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