Plasma therapy on infected patients ‘showing results’

Plasma therapy on infected patients ‘showing results’

Publication: Gulf Times (English | Newspaper)

More than 100 patients have received plasma so far from some 96 recovered donors and the number of donations from recovered patients is rising each week. This was highlighted by Dr Muna al-Maslamani, medical director of the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) at Hamad Medical Corporation, at a press conference yesterday. She said data from the intensive care units (ICUs) at HMC show that 49% of patients admitted to ICU with Covid-19 have one or more chronic health conditions. “This is because chronic diseases can impair the immune system’s ability to fight off infection and leave the body more susceptible to severe symptoms!’ she explained. “Evidence from around the world shows that while anyone can be infected with Covid-19, people with chronic disease are more likely to develop severe symptoms if they get the virus,” she added. Dr al-Maslamani said the symptoms and their severity differ from case to case for Covid-19 patients. “Indeed, many patients are asymptomatic — meaning they display no symptoms at all!’ She said 94% of cases in Qatar are mild or asymptomatic, 5% require hospitalisation and 1% are admitted to intensive care units. “We have been using plasma treatment for patients admitted to the Communicable Disease Center, using plasma from patients who have recovered from Covid -19,” she reiterated. “To date, more than 100 patients have received plasma from around 96 recovered donors and the team is seeing the number of donations from recovered patients rise each week!” The most critically ill Covid-19 patients are currently being treated at the intensive care unit of Hazm Mebaireek General Hospital, and severely ill Covid -19 patients often require mechanical ventilation, Dr al-Maslamani said. A small percentage — the most severely ill — will require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy. “It is clear that Covid -19 affects people with chronic disease in a much more serious way than other people — and so it is extremely important for people with chronic disease to stay at home as much as possible and follow preventive measures to protect themselves from catching the virus,” she added.

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