HealthDay News — For adults with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia, no significant differences are seen in clinical status or mortality for those receiving convalescent plasma versus placebo, according to a study published online Nov. 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ventura A. Simonovich, M.D., from the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires in Argentina, and colleagues randomly assigned hospitalized adult patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia to receive either convalescent plasma or placebo in a 2:1 ratio (228 and 105 patients, respectively). The patients’ clinical status 30 days after the intervention was measured on a 6-point ordinal scale ranging from total recovery to death.

The researchers observed no significant difference between the convalescent plasma and placebo groups in the distribution of clinical outcomes according to the ordinal scale at day 30 (odds ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.52 to 1.35; P =.46). Overall mortality was 10.96 and 11.43% in the convalescent plasma and placebo groups, respectively, for a risk difference of −0.46% (95% CI, −7.8-6.8). At day 2 after the intervention, total SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers tended to be higher in the convalescent plasma group. The 2 groups reported similar adverse events and serious adverse events.

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“We believe the use of convalescent plasma as a standard of care in such patients should be reevaluated,” the authors write.

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