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CMSRU researcher co-authors NEJM paper analyzing convalescent plasma treatment for critically ill COVID-19 patients

Noud van Helmond, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU), is co-author on an important research paper that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, one of medicine’s most prestigious academic journals.

Titled "Association of Convalescent Plasma Antibody Levels with Covid-19 Mortality," the paper analyzes whether treating patients for severe COVID-19 with convalescent plasma that has high levels of antibodies resulted in lower mortality rates compared to convalescent plasma with low antibody levels.

Dr. van Helmond was part of a team led by Mayo Clinic that looked at data from more than 3,000 patients. The authors concluded that “among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who were not receiving mechanical ventilation, transfusion of plasma with higher anti–SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody levels was associated with a lower risk of death than transfusion of plasma with lower antibody levels.”

“This research presents a clear efficacy signal for the use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19,” explained Dr. van Helmond. “It also provides important information on the optimal timing of treatment and the type of plasma that should ideally be used.”

“This is significant and timely research that will have an immediate and direct impact on the care of COVID-19 patients around the globe,” said Annette C. Reboli, MD.  “I’m so proud of Dr. van Helmond for his collaboration on this important national research project.”

A partnership between Rowan University and The Cooper Health System, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) opened in summer 2012. It was the first new medical school in New Jersey in more than 35 years and the only four-year M.D. degree-granting medical school in southern New Jersey. More than 600 clinicians and biomedical scientists have faculty appointments at CMSRU. CMSRU faculty are engaged in an array of publicly and privately funded research projects.