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Two COVID-19 patients safely transfused with plasma

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Two people have so far been transfused using convalescent plasma as a treatment for coronavirus disease or COVID-19. This treatment being tried in a number of countries around the world involves the use of antibody-rich blood from recovered patients to intravenously treat those that are sick.

In Uganda, the treatment whose clinical trial has just began having completed the first batch of blood plasma donation last week has had two participants receive treatment intravenously through a drip so far.

The patients being treated at Mulago National Referral hospital are responding well to treatment and more people will be receiving this trial drug over the coming weeks according to Dr Bruce Kirenga a lung expert who is the chief investigator on the study. He says the first patient was transfused on Wednesday evening.

A total of 136 COVID-19 patients are expected to participate in the trial and researchers have been given a green light to enroll patients that are being treated at the regional referral hospitals in addition to Mulago.

For each patient, according to Kirenga, they will require a dose of at least two units which means that for the study to be complete, they will need to collect more 145 units of blood as the 127 units in stock will not be enough for their target. In addition to patients with severe disease, Kirenga says those with mild symptoms will be treated too, to guard against disease progression.

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