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FDA Grants Emergency Authorization For Blood Plasma To Treat Covid-19

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization or EUA for investigational convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

The blood from those people who have recovered from the disease is called convalescent plasma. Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood. After viral infection, one's plasma contains antibodies that can be used to fight infection.

According to the health regulator, the potential promising treatment, which uses convalescent plasma, has been received by more than 70,000 patients in the country. However, the reports noted that the proper results of the treatment are yet to be known.

In a press briefing on Sunday, announcing the emergency authorization for the blood plasma treatment, President Donald Trump said, "I'm pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against the China virus that will save countless lives..... This is a powerful therapy that transfuses very, very strong antibodies from the blood of recovered patients to help treat patients battling a current infection. It's had an incredible rate of success."

Citing the available scientific evidence, the FDA said the convalescent plasma treatment may be effective in lessening the severity or shortening the length of COVID-19 illness in some hospitalized patients, and that "the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product."

Under the EUA, health care providers are authorized to distribute COVID-19 convalescent plasma in the U.S. and its administration to treat suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

Trump noted that his administration has provided $48 million to fund the Mayo Clinic study that tested the efficacy of convalescent plasma for patients with the virus. Through this study, over 100,000 Americans have already enrolled to receive this treatment, and it has proven to reduce mortality by 35 percent.

The administration also provided up to $270 million to the American Red Cross and America's Blood Centers to support the collection of up to 360,000 units of plasma.

In its website, the FDA has issued a plea, urging people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma to help patients currently fighting the infection.

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