BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The use of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent plasma (CCP) in the treatment of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome-2 infection has been controversial. Early administration of CCP before hospital admission offers a potential advantage. This manuscript summarizes current trials of early use of CCP and explores the feasibility of this approach in different countries.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A questionnaire was distributed to the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) CCP working group. We recorded respondents' input on existing trials on early/outpatient CCP and out-of-hospital (OOH)/home transfusion (HT) practices in their countries and feedback on challenges in initiating home CCP infusion programmes. In addition, details of existing trials registered on clinicaltrials.gov were summarized.
RESULTS: A total of 31 country representatives participated. Early/OOH CCP transfusion studies were reported in the United States, the Netherlands, Spain and Brazil. There were a total of six published and five ongoing trials on the prophylactic and therapeutic early use of CCP. HT was practised in Australia, the UK, Belgium, France, Japan, Nigeria, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Norway, the United States and some provinces in Canada. Thirty-four representatives indicated a lack of OOH CCP or HT in their institutions and countries. Barriers to implementation of OOH/HT included existing legislation, lack of policies pertaining to outpatient transfusion, and associated logistical challenges, including lack of staffing and resources.
CONCLUSION: Early administration of CCP remains a potential option in COVID-19 management in countries with existing OOH/HT programmes. Legislation and regulatory bodies should consider OOH/HT practice for transfusion in future pandemics.
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