For Immediate Release
December 15, 2020
Bethesda, Md. – AABB and the Infectious Diseases Society of America issued today a resource document outlining considerations for clinicians on the use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma under the Emergency Use Authorization granted by the Food and Drug Administration. The document (available on the IDSA website here and the AABB website here) is the result of a collaboration between experts in the transfusion medicine and infectious diseases community in response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Convalescent plasma therapy uses blood from individuals who have recovered from an illness to help others recover. The Food and Drug Administration authorized convalescent plasma therapy for people with COVID-19 in August 2020. The EUA program provides physicians and patients access to potentially beneficial, although not definitively proven, therapy.
AABB and IDSA created this document to help ensure that clinicians and their patients understand the risks and benefits of CCP and how it may be administered under the EUA. The document also aims to help clinicians understand how to contribute to ongoing research efforts, underscoring the need for better data to determine CCP’s effect on important clinical outcomes, and the populations most likely to benefit.
Infectious diseases physicians and other health care professionals have been working on the front lines caring for patients with COVID-19 and have served as an important source of information and guidance within the larger clinical community on issues related to COVID-19 prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
“IDSA is pleased to collaborate with AABB to help provide accurate information and education to the clinician community on this evolving area of COVID-19 treatment,” said Barbara Alexander, M.D., MHS, FIDSA, president of IDSA. “Currently, the available data suggest that best outcomes are likely to be seen in those receiving CCP within 2 to 3 days of COVID-19 diagnosis or admission to the hospital, rather than later in the course of critical illness. An important aspect of using CCP is ensuring that we are collecting appropriate data to better understand its clinical effects and which patients might benefit from it most.”
In response to the pandemic, blood collectors mobilized in an unprecedented effort to recruit thousands of CCP donors, advance clinical research and save as many lives as possible. This joint document outlines considerations for clinicians to engage patients regarding CCP donation and help this critical product remain available for those in need.
“For the past several months, the blood community has worked tirelessly to recruit donors and collect hundreds of thousands of potentially lifesaving CCP units for patients in need,” said Debra BenAvram, CEO of AABB. “This collaboration with IDSA allows the blood community to help clinicians continue their heroic work through a better understanding of which patients may benefit from CCP.”
AABB is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the fields of transfusion medicine and biotherapies. The association is committed to improving health through the development and delivery of standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership includes physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. AABB members are located in more than 80 countries and AABB accredits institutions in more than 50 countries.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is a community of over 12,000 physicians, scientists, and public health experts who specialize in infectious diseases. Its purpose is to improve the health of individuals, communities, and society by promoting excellence in patient care, education, research, public health, and prevention relating to infectious diseases. Learn more at https://www.idsociety.org/.