Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – More than 100 COVID-19 patients have been treated with blood plasma from those who have recovered from the deadly disease, the Saudi Ministry of Health said on Friday (July 3) as quoted by Arab News.
The initiative is part of a study involving several research centers in Saudi Arabia with 512 donors from Riyadh, Eastern Province, Jeddah and Madinah.
The ministry explained that blood plasma contains antibodies which help the body to recover. When a patient recovers, the plasma can be used in an infected person to form a defense against the virus.
Blood plasma is a large part of the blood (55 percent) in the form of a yellowish liquid which is responsible for carrying blood cells and various important nutrients that support body health.
Blood plasma is composed of 92 percent water, while 8 percent are important ingredients such as protein, glucose, immunoglobulin, and electrolytes.
Blood plasma treatment has been used before in China and other countries, but its efficacy has not been tested through documented clinical studies.
Saudi Arabia approved the initiative early in April and a team was assembled from the ministry, National Guard Hospitals, King Faisal Specialist Hospital, Armed Forces Hospital, university hospitals, Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, as well as from the private sector.
The ministry confirmed that the research team was working around the clock to expand the initiative’s scope and launch it across the Kingdom by acquiring donors, which is done through Twitter and via email or phone.
To date the official website has had 14,000 visitors, inside and outside the Kingdom, who have showed interest in the study.
Initial tests of the plasma’s antibodies, health history, vital signs and diagnosis are taken before treatment begins.
Reporting by Indonesia Window