(HealthDay News) — For patients with moderate COVID-19, convalescent plasma does not reduce progression to severe COVID-19 or mortality, according to a study published online in The BMJ.

Anup Agarwal, MBBS, from the Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi, and colleagues conducted an open-label, parallel arm, phase II, randomized, controlled trial at 39 hospitals across India to examine the effectiveness of using convalescent plasma to treat moderate COVID-19. A total of 464 adults admitted to the hospital with confirmed moderate COVID-19 were randomly assigned to either convalescent plasma (two doses transfused 24 hours apart) with best standard of care (235 patients) or best standard of care only (299 patients).

The researchers found that at 28 days after enrollment, progression to severe disease or all-cause mortality occurred in 19 and 18% of patients in the intervention and control arms, respectively (risk difference, 0.008 [95% confidence interval, −0.062 to 0.078]; risk ratio, 1.04 [95% confidence interval, 0.71 to 1.54]).

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“Although our study was underpowered, we did not find any benefit from convalescent plasma being administered within three days of symptom onset in COVID-19,” the authors write.


Agarwal A, Mukherjee A, Kumar G, Chatterjee P, Bhatnagar T, Malhotra P, on behalf of the PLACID Trial Collaborators. Convalescent plasma in the management of moderate covid-19 in adults in India: open label phase II multicentre randomised controlled trial (PLACID Trial). BMJ 371. doi:10.1136/bmj.m3939

Pathak EB. Convalescent plasma is ineffective for covid-19. BMJ 371. doi:10.1136/bmj.m4072