Turkey starts using plasma therapy on coronavirus patients

Turkey's Health Ministry last week approved the use of plasma therapy to treat the novel coronavirus. The treatment works by taking donated blood from someone who has recovered from the virus and giving it to a critically ill patient. The technique was for the first time applied on a patient in the eastern province of Malatya on April 5.

Duvar English

Turkish doctors have started to use infusions of blood plasma from people who have recovered from the coronavirus to treat those still battling the infection.

The technique called “plasma therapy” has been tried initially by the İnönü University's medical academics on a coronavirus patient in the eastern province of Malatya.

İnönü University Rector Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kızılay told Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency on April 6 that a 46-year-old patients who has recovered from the disease has donated blood plasma to another patient, 56, who is currently being treated in intensive care unit and attached to a ventilator to breathe. The technique was applied on the patient at the university's Turgut Özal Medical Center on April 5, Kızılay said.

“This technique was applied for other viral illnesses such as SARS and MERS and it became successful. We believe that it will also become successful here,” he said.

He said that the Turkish Health Ministry approved the use of plasma therapy to treat coronavirus last week by issuing a circular. Patients who have recovered from coronavirus will be able to donate their bloods for the treatment of critically ill patients, provided that they have “fulfilled certain criteria,” Kızılay said.

“I urge those those who were infected with Covid-19, but later overcame the disease, to come to us, provided that they fulfill the criteria put forward by the Health Ministry. They should not shy away from plasma therapy technique,” he said, assuring that the technique is safe.