Perotti C, et al. Intern Emerg Med 2020.
Since the end of 2019, a new coronavirus strain has been reported in the Chinese province of Wuhan, indicated as 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2. In February 2020, the first case of transmission on Italian soil was reported. On March 09, 2020, at the time of protocol design, the Italian Ministry of Health reported 10,149 people who had contracted the virus; of these, 8514 were positive, of which 5038 were hospitalized with symptoms (59.2%) and 877 in intensive care (10.3%), while the remaining 2599 were in home isolation; 631 were deceased (6.2%) and 1004 healed (9.9%). To date there are no studies in the literature that demonstrate its feasibility and efficacy in the context of the worldwide SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Based upon the little existing evidence, we planned to assess the efficacy of the infusion of hyperimmune plasma in COVID-19 patients in a one-arm proof-of-concept clinical trial. The primary objective of our study is to evaluate the efficacy of the administration of plasma taken from convalescent donors of COVID-19 to critically ill patients with COVID-19 in terms of their survival. Death from any cause will be considered. The main limit of this study is its one-arm proof-of-concept design with only 43 patients enrolled. However, in the absence of previous evidence, larger and/or randomized trials did not appear to be ethically acceptable. Moreover, the results from this study, if encouraging, will allow us to plan further informed large clinical trials. Trial registration: NCT04321421 March 23, 2020.