US President Donald Trump announced during a press briefing on Sunday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has “issued an emergency use authorization” towards a treatment that can help COVID-19 patients fight the virus.
The treatment, also known as the convalescent plasma, has had “an incredible rate of success,” the President said.
The treatment has a 35% mortality reduction, said Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The treatment is still far from perfect and the study for the treatment is still ongoing.
However, according to Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA Head, convalescent plasm has already met the criteria for an Emergency Use Authorization.
Through this authorization, unapproved medical treatments can be used in emergencies or cases without any alternative to treat or prevent life-threatening diseases.
According to Trump, the Federal Government released an amount of $48 million to fund the renowned hospital, Mayo Clinic, under the Operation Warp Speed program.
The funding was given to test the treatment’s efficacy towards patients who contracted COVID-19.
The treatment has attracted almost a hundred thousand Americans, said Dr. Hahn.
Around 70,000 among them received the convalescent plasma treatment, he added.
What Is Convalescent Plasma?
Convalescent plasma is the antibody proteins a recovered patient, for example, COVID-19 generate, as per Statnews.
Doctors can harvest the blood plasma of a recovered patient and filter it to separate the antibodies.
Moreover, people have been using this kind of treatment wit infectious diseases for more than a century, said Hahn.
The program is the initiative of various physicians and scientists from different US institutions such as Mayo Clinics, Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, and Einstein Medical Center.
Findings In Using The Treatment
The current data on the use of convalescent plasma shows patients who were treated earlier in the disease benefited the most in this treatment, said Azar.
There is also a “35% better survival” rate from the patients who benefited the most.
“This is a major advance,” Azar added.
What Is Operation Warp Speed
The treatment’s success in terms of its study and progress is due to the Operation Warp Speed (OWS), Trump said.
The OWS is a program by the Trump administration.
It aims to deliver safe and effective COVID-19 treatment, and eventually, a vaccine by January next year.