In a ceremony on Thursday, president of the hospital, Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, inaugurated a project to use the blood of people who have recovered from COVID-19 as a possible antidote for the disease.
Expressing gratitude to all physicians, nurses and medical staff at the hospital for their devotion to duty in the fight against the novel coronavirus, Velayati said the hospital has begun to use a new method to treat the infectious disease by infusing the blood of recovered patients into those struggling with coronavirus.
He said the new approach to using plasma-based treatment can help the patients while effective therapies and vaccines are being developed.
Masih Daneshvari Hospital, the main medical center in Iran battling with COVID-19, has adopted the convalescent-plasma approach considering the growing number of patients recovering from the disease in Iran, Velayati added.
He emphasized that both the plasma donors and recipients take part in the project voluntarily in compliance with the charter of medical ethics.
In comments at the event, head of the Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization, Dr. Eshqi, said his organization is calling on all recovered cases to participate in the plan and help the coronavirus patients.
The convalescent-plasma approach is based on the concept of passive immunity.
People who have recovered from COVID-19 infection have likely done so because their immune systems developed strong immune responses to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the illness. As a key part of their response, they make antibodies, including both general microbial killers and specialized cells that target just the proteins found on SARS-CoV-2.
In theory, these antibodies could be taken from a recovered COVID-19 patient, and infused into someone recently infected with the virus, according to the Time.