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COVID-19: Plasma DOES Help!

By Shlomo Maital

   Plasma is a component of our blood. Some 44% of our blood comprises red cells (that carry oxygen to and from the heart and the lungs and other organs), 1% are white blood cells that fight ‘invaders’, and 55% is plasma. It is the liquid part of the blood that carries cells and proteins throughout the body.

   There is a theory that plasma from patients who have had COVID-19 and recovered contain antibodies, that can be helpful for other patients in overcoming the illness – especially those who are very seriously ill.

     Research in Israel has provided serious confirmation. For those who are very seriously ill with COVID-19, many of them elderly with other serious preconditions, some 50% or so do not recover. When they are administered plasma, that contains antibodies generated by the body to fight the virus, drawn from recovered patients, he rate of recovery improves from about half to one-third, 33%.

     Many Israelis have volunteered to donate plasma, after recovering – especially among the ultra-Orthodox community, which has been heavily afflicted by COVID-19.

     Israel now has a special plasma bank, with many doses of such plasma, in the event that there is a second wave of the virus. Meanwhile, on May 18, there were only 16 new cases, and two deaths. In total Israel has suffered 278 deaths from COVID-19, a relatively low number, out of some 17,000 cases; of those, 13,435 have fully recovered. Only 50 persons remain in critical condition, on ventilators.

    

Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital
May 2020
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