Several COVID-19 patients in Turkey have responded positively to the convalescent plasma therapy, according to a top Red Crescent official.
"We are receiving positive signals from doctors taking care of seriously ill people (undergoing immune plasma therapy)," said Dr. Kerem Kınık, head of the Turkish Red Crescent Society told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
The therapy takes antibodies from the blood of a person, who has recovered from a virus, and transfer it to a patient, added Kınık, who is also the vice president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' (IRFC) Europe Region.
The reason, however, that the numbers of patients, who had received plasma treatment, was still very low, Kınık said: "(Turkish Red Crescent) blood centers have only recently started collecting plasma from the first group of patients with COVID-19."
"Two weeks after the first recovery, in collaboration with the Health Ministry and Hacettepe University, we started applying convalescent plasma therapy. In upcoming days, the number of donations will also rise, and then we will be able to deliver all this plasma to each pandemic hospital."
Highlighting the importance of convalescent plasma therapy in support of existing therapeutic tools to treat COVID-19, he said: "One donor who has recovered from the COVID-19 can donate around 400 milliliters of plasma, six times in six weeks. This means a recovered patient can help 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, adding that the treatment is routinely applied in European countries, including Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.
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