Early mortality benefit with COVID-19 convalescent plasma: a matched control study

Br J Haematol. 2021 Feb;192(4):706-713. doi: 10.1111/bjh.17272. Epub 2021 Jan 22.


Convalescent plasma can provide passive immunity during viral outbreaks, but the benefit is uncertain for the treatment of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Our goal is to assess the efficacy of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP). In all, 526 hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 at an academic health system were analyzed. Among them, 263 patients received CCP and were compared to 263 matched controls with standard treatment. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality with a subanalysis at 7 and 14 days. No statistical difference in 28-day mortality was seen in CCP cases (25·5%) compared to controls (27%, P = 0·06). Seven-day mortality was statistically better for CCP cases (9·1%) than controls (19·8%, P < 0·001) and continued at 14 days (14·8% vs. 23·6%, P = 0·01). After 72 h, CCP transfusion resulted in transitioning from nasal cannula to room air (median 4 days vs. 1 day, P = 0·02). The length of stay was longer in CCP cases than controls (14·3 days vs. 11·4 days, P < 0·001). Patients with COVID-19 who received CCP had a decreased risk of death at 7 and 14 days, but not 28 days after transfusion. To date, this is the largest study demonstrating a mortality benefit for the use of CCP in patients with COVID-19 compared to matched controls.

Keywords: COVID-19; convalescent plasma; mortality; oxygenation; transfusion.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / blood
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • COVID-19 / therapy*
  • COVID-19 Serotherapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2 / metabolism*
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors