The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its living guideline on COVID-19 therapeutics to include convalescent plasma. For non-severe COVID-19 patients, WHO recommends against its use, while it should only be used within clinical trials for severe and critical COVID-19 patients.
Convalescent plasma is a transfusion of blood plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19.
Current evidence shows that convalescent plasma does not improve survival or reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, while it has significant costs.
An independent panel of experts, the guidelines development group, looked at pooled data from 16 randomised controlled trials, including 16,236 patients with non-severe, severe, and critical COVID-19 infection.
According to WHO, while the evidence that convalescent plasma has no benefit in non-severe patients was certain, it was less so in the case of severe and critically ill patients. So, randomised clinical trials for these subgroups should continue.