Blood Transfusions Help Reduce COVID-19 Mortality by 35%

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for investigational convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. The tests on 70,000 people suggest that the blood transfusion can reduced COVID-19 mortality by 35%.

This procedure is transferring antibodies in the blood of people who were infected with COVID-19 and then recovered. The antibodies are given to people who are hospitalized with COVID-19.

Convalescent blood plasma therapy has been used since the 1880s and was used against the Spanish Flu.

SOURCES – FDA, Stat News
Written By Brian Wang,

91 thoughts on “Blood Transfusions Help Reduce COVID-19 Mortality by 35%”

  1. Actually, the virus had an affect on the hemoglobin iron binding proteins, which form an isolation cage around an iron ion. When the cage is disrupted, free ionic iron is released into circulation within the blood flow. Bad chemistry follows!

  2. No, that's my gg-grandfather, a private in the Confederacy, but someone else has commented on his resemblance to the great general. Lt Gen Forrest is a distant cousin of mine.

  3. PolitiFact:
    "It’s not clear who made the slide or if it is authentic; Goodyear later
    said only it "was not created or distributed by Goodyear corporate, nor
    was it part of a diversity training class.""

  4. I would lay odds at least half of the people who appear to be liberals are conservative trolls, or simply people exercising a bit of sarcasm.
    I am not a Liberal. Not a Conservative either.
    Though, obviously, I am not a Trump supporter. But I would opine that he is not a Liberal or Conservative either. If anything, he is a Know Nothing:
    Probably explains why he has changed Parties 5 times. Trump was a Democrat recently: from 2001-2009.

    The average person does not know much about science. The average person knows about the job they do or did, the entertainment they like, the food and drink they like, the clothing/shoes they like, the things they would like to buy, the bills they need to pay and not much more.

  5. I've just noticed over the years, that these kind of things get amplified when a certain political party is in control of the US presidency. When the Preferred Party is in control, these kinds of errors in data are resolved differently. Usually, the FDA and administration issue a correction, and the media says little about it.

    The whole thing just screams "politics."

    A chance to jab at the bad orange man.

  6. Found the guy who forgot who is in charge of this, and which group urged the changes in testing recently, etc.

  7. That is the problem. The information had to be searched for. The CDC should be using TV, radio, web and social networks to spread its guidelines.

  8. Perhaps monoclonal culturing of the antibodies in a suitable bacterial host to avoid tag-along infections?

  9. T-cells exposed to self generated antibodies learn the recipe, and store that info in the marrow for later reference. Another exposure to a disease vector will result in rapid creation of the antibodies as a response.

  10. Budesonide is a steroid used as a treatment of Wuhan 2019. It has activity in addition to countering inflammation of the airways, as applied to treating asthma.

  11. Goodyear?

    Oh, THAT. Hmm… from the explanation of WHY he was wrong, I'd come down on the side of he was right. 60% right anyway.

    Black lives matter shirt is allowed. All lives matter shirt is banned. That's clearly picking a side. The side that says some lives don't matter. Buy continentals or michelins.

  12. Coming up with tentative experimental results, writing a report that carefully emphasises that the results are super tentative with no statistical significance and require extensive replication and proper design of experiment. Then having someone else, probably in marketing, or another branch that thinks it is marketing, take those results and start proclaiming them as proven fact, solved problem, and already start selling the product that doesn't really exist yet, let alone be ready for market…

    That's absolutely standard for anyone in R&D. Their own politics doesn't need be a factor.

  13. You're suggesting that the research groups, ethics approval boards, university departments and doctors (and there are typically thousands for a good sized phase 3 trial) should sacrifice themselves for a chance to save the country?

    You might get somewhere with that argument.

  14. You didn't search very well.

    CDC recommends vitamin D,of%20vitamin%20D%20each%20day.

    CDC recommends being a healthy weight

    CDC recommends exercise:,an%20equivalent%20combination%20each%20week.

    CDC recommends blood sugar control

    I've noticed that people are always accusing doctors of never discussing all the stuff that doctors talk about constantly.

  15. THough the article you link suggests that vitamin D overdose is a rare condition.

    And that to get it you

    Taking 60,000 international units (IU) a day of vitamin D for several months has been shown to cause toxicity. 

    Which, if the supplements are 5000 IU, that means 12 tablets a day for several months.

    If someone is doing that, they're going to die from some stupid thing they are doing. Better off to provide encouragement to all the people who are deficient (because they were told that sunshine is bad for you in the previous version of public health 7.2 and haven't updated to the new rules.)

  16. I was beginning to think I was crazy. No Goodyear hoses at Amazon. But then I found one at Home Depot. But I just checked my connectors and they are not the same. Maybe they don't make the hose anymore. Mine says GoodYear on it and says "made in the USA".

  17. Interesting. Since the pandemic only 1 "True" and 3 "Mostly True". Good this this particular thing is not a truth vs lie proposition, just a "bets-placed" position like the storm tracks.
    I bought the GoodYear thing. Turns out the corporate office had nothing to do with it…or they are lying…which is not beyond conception. Who wants to put up their hand and say "Yep, this was my idea".
    By the way. The GoodYear garden hoses I got are by far the best I have ever had. They have not gotten stiff or had the other issues I have had with the other ones. I tend to leave hoses out rather than being one of those who coils it all up and puts it in a ceramic/plastic pot, though I may wad it in a corner…so your mileage may very. I have to have 8 hoses…bought some others at nearly the same time…they are circling the drain. 2 of those other hoses are so crusty they are leaking. But these GoodYear ones look like the day I bought them. I am guessing 5 years ago. They are black rubber 50' ones.

  18. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. And it is possible this time he made some serious inquiries to improve his odds.
    I try not to judge things by their source, but by their merit, and have done so for decades, though there are those ideologues here who won't believe that.

    It is one of those things chess can teach people. A choice is good or bad based on its possible consequences, not even necessarily the actual consequences.

  19. I am not against that. But if the sample size was large enough, say 500, I'd be willing to have provisional availability while that verification was being done. Even a lower number if there were virtually no negative reactions attributable to the treatment.
    I have no idea how many people they had in the actual study in the category.

  20. It could be, if the sample was very small, and you had bad results in other common categories. Otherwise it is just a demographic.

  21. It is still a small percentage being exposed, and you need time to let them have a chance of being exposed.
    In a "human challenge" the subjects are all exposed at roughly the same time usually a couple weeks in after they have been given the vaccine. Then by a couple months you have a pretty good picture of effectiveness and side effects.

    I would just start with healthy teens as they are unlikely to have a bad case of the coronavirus anyway. And for everyone in the study, I would want them to have the best conventional treatments to end the infections early whether they get the vaccine or not. They should all be isolated together too, say on a cruise ship or in a hotel.
    They will have a blast. Even the ones that get sick, because they will recover quickly and then get to continue their group isolation for a month or whatever in the hotel or cruise ship.

  22. It is no different than any war. Everyone who volunteers knows the risks. Only those with the appropriate fitness are accepted. And they are there to save lives of their countrymen.

  23. The point of an analogy is not to have a 1 to 1 parallel in every facet, just the relevant one.
    I am just pointing out that watching closely in a small number of cases provides useful information that everyone can later use. Making wild half cocked decisions is destructive in the medical context.
    The chance that there is a bad effect from a vaccine could easily be greater than the risk of death from the virus relative to the number of people.

  24. But it seems to me there's a distinct difference between the left and the right with regard to science… The right chooses to believe what they believe whether the science backs them or not. When the science supports their views, they'll cite the science, and when the science doesn't support their views, they'll attempt to detail how they think the science is wrong… The left on the other hand believe the science always, axiomatically, supports their position even when it doesn't. When the science doesn't support their position, they'll claim it does without missing a beat.

    At least that's how it seems to me.

  25. "Double blind" does not mean one side gets nothing and are set out for the vultures. They usually get the current standard of care.

  26. CDC's … a bit over their head with this whole thing, I think. (Shrug.)

    It happens, when you get a good sized bureaucracy that doesn't necessarily want to get shocked out of their normal routine.

  27. My lovely bride's in research. There's a mountain of paperwork to be done before they can even TRY to get patients into a study, and a rather large hill for the patient to sign to give consent.

  28. D, C and Zinc aren't expensive. I've been taking 2 2400IU D3 tablets daily for the last few years, haven't had a real cold for likely 5 years now. My D blood levels are midrange, which isn't surprising since I work indoors in a cube farm and don't get outside much, lol…

    Also take AREDS since I've got incipient macular degeneration, so I'm getting C&E and other stuff.

    And so far, no sign of the Covid so…?

  29. I also recently did a senescent cell clearance near fast which has helped me. My mind is definitely clearer, even though I only did the near fast 3 days. I also think my Diastolic number…the second blood pressure number was lowered. I ate 600 calories a day with less than 9% of those being protein. I also took 400 mg of fisetin, about 2,000 mg of quercetin, and a spoonful of piper longum (spicy stuff!) daily.
    I don't know why, but I found the diet more unpleasant than the previous 3 times. I was just incredibly hungry, and could think of nothing else, and I also had a headache, so I ended it earlier than planned. But other than not really loosing much weight…which was not really the goal, I am satisfied with the results. My bullet chess rating jumped 150 Elo despite my sleep being crap, and that lower diastolic number makes me happy. That suggests my arteries may have softened. Or maybe that is wishful thinking. My reaction time maybe marginally better

  30. I am deeply suspicious of any vaccine based on Adenovirus 5, 36 or 37 because I believe these viruses cause obesity. I know at least 2 of the vaccines being developed use Adenovirus 5 (the Russian one and the Chinese one).
    I believe there will be several vaccines to choose from by February…if you can afford to wait, I would.
    If you can reduce your risk of a bad case, that is reasonable. If you are overweight drop the pounds. High blood pressure? Eat lots of healthy vegetables like butternut squash, green beans, leafy greens, and tomatoes…without butter, cheddar and salt.
    I check my blood pressure every day. And since I have been eating more vegetables my pressure is going down. My last reading was 106/61. I started at about 136/78 which was "elevated". Steamed butternut squash seems to do the most for me. A couple days ago it was 100/57. I don't know what optimal is, but I am probably close now.
    A multivitamin, 1,000 mg of vitamin C with rose hips, daily and a zinc pill every couple days makes sense, I think.
    Getting 15 minutes of sunlight between 10AM and 2PM every day makes sense, I think. Or eat cod twice a week.
    If I think I may have been exposed some day I take some Famotidine. But I see no reason to obstruct digestion, so I take it a night (I usually skip dinner), if I think I may have been exposed in the day.

  31. That's a false analogy, and you know it.

    First off, if your attempt was to draw a relevant analogy, all your numbers are off for drawing such an analogue.

    You suppose there's a 6,000 block bridge, where 1/3rd are mined… It's obvious the 'mined tile' is a stand-in for the virus, but 1/3rd of the US population isn't infectious.

  32. Another one: "In 1998, the FDA approved RotaShield vaccine, the first vaccine to prevent rotavirus gastroenteritis.
    Shortly after it was licensed, some infants developed intussusception
    (rare type of bowel obstruction that occurs when the bowel folds in on
    itself) after being vaccinated."

    And I suspect a lot of these people who want untested vaccines are the same ones that irrationally blame vaccines for Autism.

    Emotions over common sense.

  33. You probably don't see the downside of inadequate testing of vaccines. It is not just that they may not work, though that too is a concern. People who think they are invulnerable but aren't could not only risk their health but become super spreaders.
    But consider this "In 1955, some batches of polio vaccine given to the public contained live polio virus, even though they had passed required safety testing.
    Over 250 cases of polio were attributed to vaccines produced by one
    company: Cutter Laboratories. This case, which came to be known as the
    Cutter Incident, resulted in many cases of paralysis. The vaccine was
    recalled as soon as cases of polio were detected.
    Cutter Incident was a defining moment in the history of vaccine
    manufacturing and government oversight of vaccines, and led to the
    creation of a better system of regulating vaccines.  After the
    government improved this process and increased oversight, polio
    vaccinations resumed in the fall of 1955."
    There are probably a dozen stories like this. Here is another:
    "From 1955 to 1963, an estimated 10-30% of polio vaccines administered
    in the US were contaminated with simian virus 40 (SV40). The virus came
    from monkey kidney cell cultures used to make polio vaccines at that
    time. Most of the contamination was in the inactivated polio vaccine
    (IPV), but it was also found in oral polio vaccine (OPV). "

  34. Imagine there is a bridge say 12 tiles wide and 500 tiles long with say 1/3 third of those tiles at random mined with explosives that can detonate an infinite number of times and it is absolutely vital that you and your army get across this bridge because there are archers who are randomly picking off your men where you are. Would you prefer to send out your men one at a time and record carefully where they stepped, or would you prefer that the whole army just made a mad dash for the other side of the bridge?

  35. You don't know anything until you do, regardless of how important it is to act.
    However, I am not against an acceleration of trials and even human challenge trials to get that information more quickly. But just giving everyone something that is untested is irresponsible. You forget how many things have side effects and how many things just don't work.
    Don't take that to mean I am against this procedure. I consider it to have been tested, way back in the Spanish flu days. And the level of confirmation for this against Coronavirus is sufficient to begin using this.

  36. You're totally missing the point.

    The point is, if everything were as dire as claimed by the one side of the political equation who've prognosticated doom and gloom, then waiting around on a "randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial" is quite counterproductive, if not an existential threat.

    If we have time to wait around for randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, then the disease isn't quite as dire as it's being portrayed.

  37. They also manage to solve a lot of other rather serious issues in an hour.
    But in the future we may have digital models of human physiology that can accurately simulate the results of all sorts of medications in minutes.
    And it is likely scientists will be taking credit for things they asked their AI computers to do. The only science fiction show I recall showing computers actually receiving credit in collaborations with scientists was Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century. I guess Space 1999 a little. Yes, there was Data, but he was just another Starfleet officer.

  38. I too have notice that the CDC says nothing about Vitamin "D". The CDC says nothing about strengthening the Immunity System. The CDC says nothing about trying to exercise and losing some weight. The CDC says nothing about keeping your blood sugar levels under control. The CDC doesn't seem to be all that helpful.

  39. The US has 3,257,962 recovered people. A small fraction of that number is in the hospital. I see no reason there needs to be rationing. There are around 16,500 Americans in serious/critical. I don't know if that is most of the people with the virus in the hospitals. OK, looking around the Internet the number is probably 60,000-100,000 in the hospitals. That is a big number, but with 3.2 million recovered people, there should be plenty that can and would be willing to donate.

  40. If you have the typical 5000 IU vitamin D, once a week is plenty. Any of the fat soluble vitamins in large amounts can be a problem (A,D,E & K). The water soluble stuff like vitamin C usually just goes through you, if you don't need it. Vitamin A is the worst to get too much of. Your hair starts falling out more than usual 😉 My mom gave my siblings and I too much and our hair started falling out. I think I must have been about 10. My liver is not in perfect health and I never drink so there could have been some long term damage. D can also cause substantial problems. "The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in your blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea and vomiting, weakness, and frequent urination. Vitamin D toxicity might progress to bone pain and kidney problems, such as the formation of calcium stones." Vitamin E is less of a problem but I have heard of some odd symptoms. Mostly you need more vitamin K if you have more vitamin E or bone health may suffer. And there is increased risk of stroke. 400-800mg though is usually fine. In theory, too much vitamin K can be a problem, though the only problems I have heard of were from injecting synthetic vitamin K-3. Vitamin K is usually made in the gut, and as we have less control on what is growing in there, we probably have some mechanism to avoid too much.

  41. The thing is, people have been buying vitamin D supplements and taking too much because in America more is always better:
    A multivitamin will have the vitamin D necessary.

    The typical vitamin D supplement is 5000 IU which is much more than needed. If you are going to supplement, I suggest 1000 IU or take the 5000 just once a week.
    Multivitamins usually have a reasonable amount plus you get all the other things, but I would avoid the ones with phony vitamin E.

  42. I am older and probably can’t make Vit D all that well. Apart from the fact that it is still winter here and uncomfortable cold, even in summer I don’t expose a lot of skin to the sun. Taking Vit D, C, Zinc and wearing a mask in crowded places and having a small bottle of hand sanitizer in the car costs a couple of $ a month and if not needed is pretty harmless.

  43. You look at the data, you establish the conditions under which it works, then you get a completely separate set of new data and see if the same conditions give the same result.

    Observation, hypothesis, test, conclusion. Otherwise you don’t have any idea if it was just a statistical noise.

  44. Human challenge trials are an absolute minefield of legal and political disaster-waiting-to-happen.

    Signing waivers does nothing to solve that.

    And trying it in a time and place when cities get burned down regularly because people don’t trust the legal and political system?

    Absolutely nobody is going to agree to authorise that. A sure fire way to be personally targeted for attacks, from legal, through political, to outright mob violence.

  45. Political extremists of all stripes are anti-science.
    Because real science doesn’t twist the results to match your favourite ideology.
    Also, science has an entire process of making mistakes, admitting mistakes, correcting. This is anathema to people to whom good authority can never be wrong.

  46. I’m intrigued by the notion that a politician being in favour of a particular treatment will make it HARDER to conduct a study, rather than easier.
    Could you explain?

  47. While vitamin D is important, in the summer, most people get enough sun to make enough vitamin D. It is in the winter that their stores of vitamin D can become depleted. Risk may still exist for people who never go outside such as the infirmed in nursing homes.
    Being a fat soluble vitamin stored in the liver, it is possible to go overboard.
    Zinc and Selenium are probably also important.
    And if you are a body builder and use steroids, lay off the Steroids. They reduce your immunity. True, they are using steroids to treat this, but that is for people who are in danger of too strong of an immune response as predicted by indicators, and usually after several days of infection. Already having the steroids in you when you catch this is just going to make it spread quickly in your body and perhaps faster than you can muster a response…and put you in the hospital.
    A good approach is a multivitamin. And a 1,000mg vitamin C with rose hips, I think is a good idea. Some Zinc and Selenium probably won’t do any harm either. I think artificial vitamin E is dubious at best.
    I eat 2 Brazil nuts a day for Selenium, and a handful of raw hulled sunflower seeds for vitamin E.

  48. What do these scientists know, anyway? They only [checks notes] ran the definitive study on the treatment.

  49. There’s no reason to do human challenge trials if a million people are being infected with this every day dude. Just set up a trial in [Brazil/South Africa/USA/India/Russia/Peru] and watch the results come pouring in.

  50. The fact that you only got downvotes for this should tell you what kind of brainiacs you’re conversing with in this comments section.

  51. The FDA has been depressingly stupid about this. We should be doing human challenge trials for everything and seeing whatever works. This pandemic is effectively costing us hundreds of billions of dollars a month in lost productivity and debt. There are literally millions of people in this country who would volunteer to test any treatment–even if it meant being infected with COVID-19–if they could be paid, say $250,000. If you gave them $250,000 per person and had 10,000 participants it would only cost $2.5 Billion. If you needed 100,000 subjects that is still only $25 Billion. We should be doing challenge trials for every vaccine under development and every treatment that has a reasonable chance of being successful. But no one with the power to do so will sign off on it, because no one wants to take responsibility.

  52. I don’t care what politician endorses or refutes this.

    Medical studies must be made according to proper methodology and ethics.

    Sick of the cancerous growth of truth-by-politics-of-source on every topic.

  53. Usually with Trump, it’s science that is telling you to take any Trump miracle cure with a grain of salt.

  54. I have been advocating this for a long time…makes no difference to me if Trump likes it. The science is sound.
    Though, there is more to worry about than listed. Any latent viral infection the donator may have may be given to the recipient, potentially causing a second infection or more. Though the risk-reward is clearly in favor of receiving the donation if very ill.
    Good screening is not cheap. Still, better to screen well rather than unnecessarily risk additional infections.
    If artificially produced antibodies are reasonably tested, and found to be effective, that should be used preferentially. But as these are not ready yet, this approach is reasonable.
    I would also like to see GS-441524 tested. And though it is late in the game, I would like DRACO (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizers) adapted to treat the infection. I think it could, in combination with other treatments, clear the virus quickly because it takes the infected cells out of the equation so all the virus is in the bloodstream to be targeted by something like Remdesivir or GS-441524.
    Famotidine has also been recently tested, and appears to help. But they still have no idea how. Would be nice if they could figure that out. That approach might be optimizable.

  55. To be honest, they’ve never been on the side of science, but left wingers are more than happy to use science when it suits their agenda.

  56. The FDA demanded a double blind study to determine if “looking both ways before crossing the street” was more efficacious. Sure enough most of the double blind (blind in both eyes) were the ones that were killed. Fauci smiled.

  57. Yeah, but that’s a simple fix. Can’t have those, so we must ignore the possible prophylactic effects of vitamin D… or HCQ/Zinc or anything else until we do an umpteen month double-blind study.

    (Yes, I’m getting cynical about all this. How could anyone tell?)

  58. We are starting to see evidence of evolved viral strains, with some genetic changes that produce milder infections, but that are still very contagious.

    And of course, reinfections. A virus will go nowhere if it can’t reinfect a host several times, just by changing a little bit of itself. With the advantage that reinfections are always less severe.

    This disease will become a regular cold in a couple of years, just as the Spanish Flu and others have.

  59. McCoy: “Capt, a space based virus is ravaging the ship. I developed this vaccine and seemed to work on nurse Chapel, so I should administer it to the entire crew before more die.”

    Spock: “Did you conduct a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on this remedy?”

  60. I believe a lot of objections to treatment are simply about whether it can been seen as ‘helping’ Trump. If he mentions something positively, it must immediately be discredited or there’s a chance it might give him a ‘win’.

    Hydroxychloroquine? Nope, gotta be talked down because Trump mentioned it, and because it doesn’t work in every single case for every single patient. (As you mentioned, establishing conditions where a drug works is part of any testing or development protocol.)

    So what if people die? If he CARED at all he’d have gotten out of office YEARS ago and left it to our professional political class. Who would likely have done a considerably worse job at managing this problem, but they could soothe their failures with the thought that nobody could have done any better… (And that he HAS been so effective so widely is really pissing off the political elite inside the Beltway, IMO…)

  61. Hm. Science, vs saving lives with a treatment that existing science already tells us should work. Science, vs lives…

    Anyway, everybody can’t demand the treatment. Alright, they can demand it, technically, but there won’t be enough plasma to go around, so rationing will be the order of the day anyway.

  62. The other problem is that it significantly impairs the ability to conduct genuine random assignment studies when everybody can demand the treatment.

  63. I’ve been advocating that myself, as soon as I heard of the research. Those particular cold viruses are basically live vaccines, with nature already having done the safety tests.

    Covid 19 itself will probably eventually evolve into a cold virus: Cold viruses occupy an evolutionary sweet spot, just virulent enough to be passed on, just mild enough to keep your host in circulation. That’s why there are so many of them, hundreds.

    That’s why the nasty viruses are generally the ones that have just crossed species lines: They’re not genetically optimized yet, they screw up and kill their hosts.

  64. Gah! That’s not cherry picking. That’s establishing the conditions under which it works. It’s too late for kicking your immune system in the rear to save you, if you’re already dying, or your immune system is already largely dysfunctional from aging.

  65. It would be rather bizarre, and contrary to what we know about the functioning of the immune system, if convalescent plasma didn’t work. Antibodies are antibodies, whether you generated them yourself, or got them from somebody else.

    The downside of this is that the donated immunity only lasts as long as the circulating antibodies, and use of convalescent plasma might interfere with your body developing it’s own long term immune response. But that’s a chance I’d take if I were otherwise likely to die.

    The problem here is really just that Trump said positive things about this, and that causes people on half the political spectrum to reject the science. Anything Trump advocates must be a fraud, after all!

  66. From one of the links above, provided in this article…

     “The FDA cited such data when it claimed a 35 percent reduction in deaths among a small subset of patients under age 80 who both received plasma within three days, and who did not require mechanical ventilation. This is the very definition of cherry-picking. To hail this observation as a breakthrough, in the absence of a true clinical trial, is inappropriate.”

  67. There is no study that supports that 35% number. In fact there is no study with a control group for this at all. Trump pushed for it, with no supporting data that it actually works.

  68. The fact that you think red blood cells are in plasma transfusions is unsurprising given the rest of your comment.

  69. Given the possible cross reactivity of T cells, we should be infecting people with coronavirus colds. It could give everybody at least some defense.

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