The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its guideline on COVID-19 therapeutics to include convalescent plasma.
For non-severe COVID-19 patients, the WHO recommends against its use. However, WHO also says convalescent plasma can be used in clinical trials for patients who are critically or severely ill from COVID-19.
The WHO said current evidence shows that convalescent plasma — a transfusion of blood plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 — does not improve survival or reduce the need for mechanical ventilation. It also is expensive.
An independent panel of experts, the guidelines development group, looked at pooled data from 16 randomized controlled trials, including 16, 236 patients with non-severe, severe, and critical COVID-19 infection.
While the evidence shows that convalescent plasma has no benefit in non-severe patients, it was less conclusive in the case of severe and critically ill patients. Therefore, randomized clinical trials for these subgroups should continue, the WHO said.