The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a clinical trial at four health systems in the country, including at Trinity Health of New England, to investigate if blood plasma therapy can help patients with COVID-19.
“We’re very excited about this therapy,” said. Dr. Danyal Ibrahim of Trinity Health of New England.
Soon the team will get antibodies from people who have recovered after recently coming down with the virus.
Then those antibodies will be injected into patients who are critically ill or on a breathing machine.
“If we are able to start everything we should start seeing results within a week or two,” said Dr. Latha Dulipsingh of Trinity Health of New England. “I sincerely hope it makes a difference.”
The therapy has previously been used with other diseases and it seems promising with coronavirus patients in a small study in China.
“All five of them showed over a few days significant, dramatic improvement,” said Dr. Ibrahim.
While there are potential concerns with transfusions, doctors say for those clinging to life the benefits could outweigh the risks.
Initially they plan to enroll up to 20 patients and will then report back their results to the FDA.
“We’re hoping that we can get out some information about the outcome really quickly. So in the beginning, certainly that number but we’re hoping to scale up quickly especially if we have evidence that it is working,” said Dr. Ibrahim.
Doctors are moving fast.
They’re hoping to get patients enrolled next week and they say they could see results in as few as three days.