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COVID-19 WATCH

17 hospitals administer plasma treatments

Gabbie Parlade

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday disclosed that 17 hospitals with approved protocols are already registered to give convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients in the country.

FDA Director-General Eric Domingo said that a total of 526 patients have so far been administered with the treatment where 429 have recovered.

Convalescent plasma therapy is one of the studied remedies for the coronavirus disease which uses the antibodies gathered from past patients who have been treated.

Philippine Blood Center Officer-in-Charge Dr. Pedrito Tagayunan earlier said that the process is done by separating the red blood cells and the plasma of the donated blood from a previous COVID positive patient.

“In the plasma we will find the IGG, IGM or the antibodies where if the patient or donor is in its convalescence, then a majority of it will have the IGG,” he said.

Individuals are initially screened to determine whether their condition and blood will be fit for the plasma donation.

However, Domingo said that despite positive results so far gathered, a more in-depth scientific analysis of the treatment is needed to prove on which patient it will be most applicable.

“The treatment looks good but of course the scientific studies will have to be done because the status of patients vary even if the protocols are all the same,” he said.

This is why a clinical trial has been already approved to study more on its possible treatment.

“(We) approved one clinical trial for convalescent plasma that has more structured protocols which will be more objective in its analysis and once we get a more detailed and objective result we’ll be able to share that with the public,” he said.

To date, the coronavirus cases in the Philippines has gone up to more than 296,000 as the country ranks in the 21st spot worldwide tallying at 32 million infected individuals.

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