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Why is convalescent serum therapy being downplayed on the news?


Specializes in retired from healthcare. Has 25 years experience.

A promising COVID-19 treatment gets fast-tracked

Here is the most recent thing I could find on plasma therapy to treat Covid-19. This was more informative than most other reports I've read.

With so many people so scared, I don't know why they don't keep us more up to date about clinical studies on treatment. I wondered if they just don't want people to stop thinking we're in crisis and to quit following the stay-at-home order. I thought maybe this was why they only talk about cures for Covid-19 for a minute before moving on to other news.

They talk endlessly about vaccines being a year away and testing and social distancing.

With more and more people recovering, I would like to know what percentage of these are candidates for plasma donation. I would also like to be given some sort of an update about when plasma therapy will become a regular practice. The medical profession has been familiar with this treatment for so many years that I feel as if they're being slow. I've had to be wise and know they have reasons I can't see, most likely having to do with accountability.

The news is a terrible place to go for information on medical treatments.

Go directly to original sources, medical publications, etc.


Has 3 years experience.

The news is doing everything they can to cause fear because that gets more views. Bunch of pathetic parasites they are, hherrn is spot on.

Immunosuppressants seem to be working as well but god forbid that information gets out, it might give people hope!


Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

1)this is not a reliable source of information

2) people got into hospitals with COVID19 primatily because they were sick, and with this virus it means SICK. I did not see too many discharges from acute yet but those I did were mostly ravaged by the disease. Their convalescence will take weeks if not months. They cannot donate plasma at this point.

3) what we need are young and healthy patients who had mild or asymptomatic form of COVID19 infection. But, thanks to existing policies and protocols, the wast majority of them cannot be tested as they had mild or no symptoms. Mass testing is needed but it is nowhere to be seen.

4) the risk of litigation will preclude many from donating and many more from considering the treatment. For many, too much of the risk to get HIV or hepatitis or CMV from transfusion of native plasma from random donor.


Specializes in retired from healthcare. Has 25 years experience.

1 hour ago, hherrn said:

The news is a terrible place to go for information on medical treatments.

Go directly to original sources, medical publications, etc.

Can you suggest some good sources of information for those of us who don't know where to look? I have been told to go to CDC and WHO but I would think there are other places I could look.

laflaca, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

Red Cross is starting to collect convalescent plasma in some areas:


It's not as simple as just starting to give it out, though. Convalescent plasma doesn't work for every disease, and using it is not risk-free. Even if we had a big pool of young, healthy, recently recovered COVID patients willing to donate, and even if we knew that convalescent plasma would actually help, we'd have to figure out what level of antibodies have to be present....timing and frequency of the dose to the recipient....do you give it as prevention for high risk groups, do you give it as treatment, which affected people benefit...many other things.

People want a quick solution, which makes sense when you look at the devastation caused by COVID, but I don't think we're going to get any easy answers in this case. The seemingly basic, slow, frustrating application of public health measures is what is going to save lives in the forseeable future.

Multiple companies have quick and easy to use serology tests for COVID 19 antibodies but the FDA is currently only allowing clinical laboratories to get them from one company.


I'm not talking about little never heard of companies, I'm talking about BD, Henry Schein etc that have easy to use serology tests ready to be shipped that need a finger stick and are read on strips that are similar to a pregnancy test reader. They have simple charts to guide the user in reading the test correctly.

These serology tests are obviously not useful for acute diagnosis but they are very useful for helping people in essential industries figure out which workers are less of a risk because they've already had COVID and developed antibodies AND they would identify candidates for convalescent serum donors.

These tests should and would be available in doctor's offices, urgent care centers etc (all of which could easily and safely use them) but the FDA stepped in at the last minute just before a bunch were shipped and said no don't ship to anyone but complex laboratories. I don't know if the FDA is trying to say that BD, Henry Schein etc did not meet the requirements of the original waiver guidance but it sure looks like they are nit picking for no gd reason. Just make sure it's clear on the packaging that these are not diagnostic tests and let them be shipped!

Edited by eerrmm