Early in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was first sparking across the globe, several researchers raised the idea of convalescent plasma as a possible tool to help treat patients. The treatment dates back to the late 19th century and suggests antibodies in the blood of those who have recovered from a particular disease can help patients suffering from an acute case of the same disease.
In March 2020 a large global study began investigating a variety of different treatments for COVID-19. Called REMAP-CAP, the trial ultimately expanded to include 15 countries and 290 hospitals. Convalescent plasma was one of the key COVID-19 treatments the trial was investigating.
A recent early analysis of the trial's findings is suggesting the treatment does not improve patient outcomes in severely ill cases. This preliminary analysis, not yet published in any peer-reviewed journal, was based on data from 912 subjects.