Convalescent plasma therapy as a potential treatment for COVID-19
INTRODUCTION: The public health emergency caused by Covid-19, combined with high mortality rates, has raised the demand for effective treatments against it. Considering the time needed for development and releasing of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, therapeutic alternatives have been evaluated to limit mortality. Among these alternatives, the use of convalescent plasma stands out, aiming the use of the affected patients antibodies. AIM: To address the use of convalescent plasma as a potential in the treatment of Covid-19. MATERIAL AND METHODS: As a systematic review, Latin American Literature in Science Health (LILACS) and Virtual Health Library (VHL) databases were consulted for open access articles released between 2015 and 2020. As search guide: "Plasma", "antibody", "therapy" and "Covid-19" were used as descriptors. Fully available articles in Portuguese or English were used as inclusion criteria. RESULTS: The use of convalescent plasma is a passive therapy technique. It consists in infusing plasma containing antibodies against a particular agent into someone who's sick. As a potential treatment for Covid-19, convalescent plasma with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, has being used in infected patients. This therapy has already been seen in different outbreaks, such as Sars-Cov-1, in 2003, and H1N1 flu, between 2009- 2010. Discussions about plasma therapy are complex, many studies state this method as prophylactic instead of therapeutic. Some studies involving the technique in therapy for Covid-19 have shown positive results in critically affected patients even in face of health support interventions. The evaluated studies show that patients who used plasma therapy in the treatment had a shorter hospital stay and less chance of mortality. CONCLUSION: Even though the convalescent plasma therapy for Covid-19 has been comprised as new method, it has already been used in another viral outbreaks showing positive results as a therapy. In face of this, further studies with larger samples and adequate control are needed in order to prove the efficiency of this method.
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