The US President donates blood
Therefore, US blood plasma treatment is not a breakthrough
How does plasma therapy work?
In response to an infection, our immune system makes antibodies. Even after the illness has been overcome, these antibodies are still contained in the blood of those who have recovered. A recovered person can pass these antibodies on to a sick person by donating blood plasma. In the best case scenario, the antibodies also develop their effect in the patient's blood.
Unfortunately, the donated antibodies do not stimulate the production of further antibodies, but are degraded over time. The transferred antibodies do not offer long-term protection, but only for a few weeks.
Why is plasma treatment not (yet) bringing a breakthrough?
What is now causing waves in the US is not a new medical approach, but a common form of therapy. The process has been known for over 100 years.
In Germany, for example in Freiburg, blood plasma is already used in people with Covid 19. As the Freiburg University Clinic announced, the therapeutic plasma has been officially approved and has been able to be administered to patients since mid-August. The clinic calls on those recovered from Covid-19 to donate plasma.
There is also no reason to be euphoric because the therapies cannot replace a high-quality vaccine. An antibody donation is comparable to a kind of vaccination. But with a vaccine that can lead to serious side effects and whose protective effect is limited to just a few weeks. That is why this therapy is usually only used on seriously ill people - this has also been done with the swine flu and the Sars epidemic.
What are the chances of success with a treatment?
It is usually difficult to say whether the therapy really helps the sick. In most of the studies on plasma therapy, there was no comparison group that was only treated with a dummy drug.
The relevant studies have not yet been completed in the USA either. In its written approval, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) speaks cautiously of a possible positive effect in view of the so far inadequate data situation.
A large-scale study with a comparison group has been running in Germany since the spring, the results of which we can look forward to.
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