Good response for COVID-19 plasma treatment: Red Crescent head
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
"We are receiving positive signals from the doctors who are taking care of seriously ill people [undergoing immune plasma therapy], Dr. Kerem Kınık, head of the Turkish Red Crescent Society told Anadolu Agency.
Initiated in the beginning of the 1990s, the aim of the therapy is to take antibodies from the blood of a person who has recovered from a virus and transfer it to a sick patient, added Kınık, who is also the vice president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' (IRFC) Europe Region.
Noting the numbers of patients who have received plasma are few, he said it is because "Kızılay [Turkish Red Crescent] blood centers have just recently started collecting plasma from the first group of the sick people with COVID-19."
The first case of the coronavirus was diagnosed March 11 in Turkey and the first recovery from the virus was recorded on March 26.
"Two weeks after the first recovery, in collaboration with the Health Ministry and Hacettepe University, we started applying convalescent plasma therapy.
"Upcoming days the number of the donation will also raise then we will be able to deliver all this plasma to each pandemic hospital," he said.
Highlighting the importance of convalescent plasma therapy in support of existing therapeutic tools to treat COVID-19, he said: "One donor who recovered from the COVID-19 is able to donate six times in six weeks and each one is 400 milliliters. This means one recovered case can heal six patients. So it is a very effective method."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), universities in China and in Europe have conducted scientific research on the therapy, he said, and the treatment is routinely applied in European countries, including Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom.
Turkey has imposed a two-day curfew in 31 provinces which took effect at midnight Friday to stem the spread of the virus.
The curfew would not be applicable to those carrying out burial procedures for first-degree-relatives and anyone who have an appointment for blood and plasma donation with the Turkish Red Crescent.