A study of the first 20,000 adults hospitalized with severe or life-threatening COVID-19 to receive convalescent plasma found the investigational therapy safe in this diverse group of patients, according to findings from the Food and Drug Administration’s Expanded Access Program for COVID-19 reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The mortality rate in the first seven days after transfusion was 8.6%, down from 12% in an earlier study of the first 5,000 patients, and serious adverse events remained low at less than 1%, the authors said.

“Given the accelerating deployment of this therapy, these emerging data provide early safety indicators of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 treatment and suggest research should shift focus from safety toward determining the efficacy of convalescent plasma,” they said.  

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