Turkiye, Health, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Hospital in southern Turkey ready to use plasma therapy

Many universities in Turkey begin administering convalescent plasma therapy for critical coronavirus patients

Ayse Yildiz   | 10.04.2020
Hospital in southern Turkey ready to use plasma therapy


A university hospital in southern Turkey is now ready to treat novel coronavirus patients with convalescent plasma therapy, which helps remove the novel coronavirus from the body.

Dr. Alphan Kupesiz at the Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine in Antalya province told Anadolu Agency that blood plasma from a recovered patient could be crucial in strengthening the immune systems of other patients under critical care.

All donors take tests to make sure they do not carry coronavirus, Hepatitis or HIV.

"Antibodies in plasma taken from a recovered patient can enable the body to eradicate viruses more easily. Patients have been reported who recovered in this way," said Kupesiz.

The only potential side effect is an allergic reaction as the plasma is injected into the patient, he added.

Blood plasma is collected with special equipment. Once extracted, it can be administered immediately to patients.

"There was a study conducted in China [in which] all five critical patients given plasma recovered. This was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [...] Blood type is also important," Kupesiz explained.

"We will collect samples from those who want to be donors. A recovered patient can donate two samples a week with 48-hour intervals."

Starting this week, the university will begin immune plasma, or antibody, therapy, the university's president, Mustafa Unal said.

On Thursday, Turkey confirmed 96 more coronavirus-related fatalities, bringing the death toll to 908, and the total number of cases to 42,282. A total of 2,142 people have so far recovered and been discharged from hospital care.

Worldwide, the pandemic has claimed the lives of over 96,700 people, and infected over 1.6 million, while more than 361,300 people have recovered from the disease, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Firdevs Bulut

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