Health Canada approves nationwide COVID-19 plasma trial

By | May 1, 2020

WINNIPEG — The practice of using convalescent plasma, blood plasma from those people who’ve recovered from a disease, to treat some types of infections dates back to the early 1900s. 

Questions are now being asked as to whether this could be used to treat COVID-19, and Health Canada has approved a nationwide clinical trial of the use of convalescent plasma as a COVID-19 treatment option. 

In a news release, Health Canada said a clinical trial is the best way to obtain the necessary information systematically to determine whether convalescent plasma will prove safe and effective. 

The study will assess whether administering plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to others admitted to hospital with the virus will decrease the risk of serious disease and death. 

The trial will take place at more than 40 hospitals across Canada and will be conducted in partnership with Canadian Blood Services (CBS) and Hema-Quebec. Those agencies will collect and process donor plasma for the trial. 

Potential plasma donors are asked to view information on the CBS registry website or at Hema-Quebec’s site. Physicians wishing to have their patients participate in the trial are asked to contact the trial authorization holder, Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation.

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