The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) made the first application of convalescent plasma to a positive patient for COVID-19, confirmed on Monday by Dr. Román Macaya Hayes, executive president of the institution.
The hierarch explained that the procedure was carried out at the Specialized Patient Care Center with COVID-19 (CEACO), located in CENARE, on a 37-year-old patient, a resident of La Cruz in Guanacaste.
According to Dr. Roberto Aguilar Tasara, director of CENARE / CEACO, the first dose of convalescent plasma was placed on Saturday and the second dose was given yesterday.
The hospital reports it this Monday with good clinical evolution.
The convalescent plasma is obtained from a person already recovered from COVID-19, which is then used as treatment by infusion in a new patient who is with the active virus.
To date, 25 donors have been counted in the National Blood Bank, of which 61 bags of convalescent plasma have been obtained. One to three bags can be obtained from each donor with each donation.
Dr. Sebastián Molina Ulloa, microbiologist, immunohematology specialist at the National Blood Bank, explained that the antibodies act as a barrier against the virus, helping the patient to recover.
The specialist said that immunoglobulins or antibodies are vital proteins that perform a wide variety of functions and influence the balance of the immune system and are found in the plasma of people.
In this case, convalescent plasma will be used as treatment for those COVID-19 patients who have a severe or critical condition, with less than 14 days of hospitalization and who meet the criteria for receiving treatment.
Molina Ulloa explained that each patient who requires it will receive an application of plasma in two doses equivalent to a bag of 200 milliliters each. It will be done by transfusion with a time difference of 24 hours between each dose.
He added that antibodies that can be transfused through plasma will have a temporary permanence in patients and will decrease as they work until they disappear, which is why plasma is a treatment and not a cure against the virus.
Convalescent plasma can take up to a year to use, said microbiologist Molina.