PM urges further research on two treatment methods for COVID-19 patients hinh anh 1Treating a COVID-19 patient. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has requested Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long to study two treatment methods for COVID-19 patients proposed by Professor Nguyen Thanh Liem, former Director of the National Peadiatrics Hospital, to have a suitable application plan.

To contribute to reducing COVID-19 mortality, Liem had proposed two treatment methods that the world has successfully applied.

The first is transfusion of convalescent plasma containing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 virus from recovered patients to patients at risk of severe conditions.

This is not a new method. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many parts of the world have applied this method and it has contributed to reducing the mortality rate. Due to the urgent pandemic situation, the designs and results of some previous studies are not very convincing. However, the recent study by Libster published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, is remarkable, showing that plasma transfusion from recovered patients reduced the rate of respiratory failure and mortality compared with the control group receiving saline serum.

Two points emphasised in this study are that they administered convalescent plasma to patients very early, within 72 hours of the onset of symptoms, and they only use plasma with high anti-viral antibody titers. Although the transfusion subjects were people aged 65 and more with underlying medical conditions, none of the patients had serious adverse events.

Collecting plasma from donors is in principle the same as collecting blood from blood donors. The method is easy to implement, and low cost. Liem suggested the Ministry of Health direct the city’s Hematology and Blood Transfusion Hospital and the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion to soon establish a plasma bank with anti-viral antibodies to use on high-risk patients.

The second is early infusing mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord for patients with respiratory failure to prevent Cytokine storm - the leading cause of death in patients with respiratory failure. This method has been used for respiratory failure of various causes.

With COVID-19, some studies show that stem cell transfusion can increase the survival rate by 2.5 times compared to the group without transfusion. Currently, Vietnam has mastered the technology to produce mesenchymal stem cells in large quantities, which, if studied and deployed, will be a promising method to reduce mortality./.