The treatment relies on "convalescent plasma" from patients who have recovered. These antibodies are transferred via transfusion to someone fighting off the virus.
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), a state health watchdog, said Wednesday that it would work out guidelines on the safe use of plasma after Yonsei University's Severance Hospital Blood injected the plasma of fully-treated patients into three critically ill patients. There are still more questions than answers about how this could work for COVID-19 patients, such as the right time to start this therapy in sick patients.More news: New beta shows WhatsApp is working on allowing multiple devices per account
Doctors hope that the treatment could reduce the number of patients on ventilators in intensive care units. In the case of COVID-19, experts have yet to work out numerous details.
"It's been done in the past with different types of infections and viruses, and it has worked in some people", Survant said.
In the United Kingdom, researhers from the University of Glasgow have applied to the National Institute for Health Research to run clinical trials using plasma.More news: 28 young americans returned home in corona from Mexico-vacation
"It should actually help them get some antibodies into their system that should fight the COVID-19 disease and hopefully help them to get well", Rodriguez said. The challenge, however, is finding plasma donors who have recovered from COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for at least two weeks.
Last week, the Federal Drug Administration authorized drug use of convalescent COVID-19 plasma for patients infected with the virus that has swept the world and led to the pandemic. The Red Cross has also established a program for potential donors to sign up.More news: Climate blow: Trump admin completes rollback of emissions rules