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Safety and efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy for the management of COVID-19: A systematic review
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  • Sitaram Khadka,
  • Muhammad Saleem,
  • Dhan Shrestha,
  • Pravash Budhathoki
Sitaram Khadka
Shree Birendra Hospital
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Muhammad Saleem
Government College University Faisalabad
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Dhan Shrestha
Mangalbare Hospital, Morang
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Pravash Budhathoki
Dr Iwamura Memorial Hospital
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Abstract

Aim: Till date, no proven treatment exists for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), though different types of treatment modalities are being practiced around the world. Small-scale convalescent plasma (CP) therapies from COVID-19 recovered donors have shown favorable results with fewer adverse consequences. In this systematic review, we aimed to determine the safety and efficacy of CP as a therapy for COVID-19. Methods: The English language databases of PubMed, Google Scholar, and ScienceDirect were searched upto 22 May 2020. Eligibility for inclusion, risk of bias assessment, and data extraction from the included studies was determined and a narrative synthesis was conducted. Results: A total of 12 studies were selected for review. The overall risks of bias was high. The results revealed that the initiation of CP therapy during the early stages of viremia was significant in a safety and efficacy viewpoint. The patients were also receiving concomitant drugs and other supportive therapies in 10 studies. Viral loads were documented to decrease and become negative in 8 studies within 3-26 days post-transfusion. The improvement in clinical symptoms following CP therapy was demonstrated in 9 studies. Most of the patients experienced very few adverse effects. There were a total of 622 mortalities out of 5079 patients in total studies. Conclusions: The rational practice of CP therapy based on a risk-benefit judgment can prove to be an efficacious therapeutic option until the approval of any therapeutic and/or prophylactic agent(s), though substantial randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are necessary to validate the effectiveness of such therapy.