Blood donation facilities have begun actively collecting plasma from COVID-19 survivors, hoping it will save the lives of other infected people.
Using blood from a surviving patient to treat others who are in dire straits is known as convalescent plasma therapy. It isn’t guaranteed to work and some doctors dispute the treatment’s validity. However, it’s appeared to work on coronavirus patients in China.
“There isn’t anything else out there,” says Dr. Louis Katz, a blood industry expert. “There are historical precedents that it may be beneficial and enough early data that it’s safe.”