HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The FDA gave emergency approval for a treatment for people battling COVID-19.
Can convalescent plasma help people here in the Tennessee Valley?
To put it simply, Dr. Hafsa Siddiqui is a big fan of convalescent plasma. You may be wondering, what is it exaclty?
People who have recovered from COVID-19 give blood. Then the plasma from that blood is taken out and used to treat people battling the virus. One donation can help three patients!
Dr. Siddiqui tells us she’s used it on around 50 patients since the beginning of the pandemic.
She says the key is to give it to patients as soon as they are admitted, before they become critically ill.
The FDA’s emergency approval means doctors no longer have to enroll a patient in a trial to use it.
WAFF asked Dr. Siddiqui if she was concerned about availability, but she says they have a good relationship with LifeSouth.
So when her patients recover, they go and donate blood.
Dr. Siddiqui says she’s seen her patients show great improvement just 24 hours after one dose of plasma.
“It’s just such a joyful feeling when you see this old person that everyone is talking about, they’re at very high risk of morbidity and then you see them recovering so fast if you’re treating them early on and then they’re going home,” Dr. Siddiqui said.
Dr. Siddiqui says the risks of giving the plasma is the same as getting blood transfusions. But that the benefits are way greater than the risks.