ROCHESTER, Minnesota -- The Mayo Clinic says the results from a study on plasma treatment for COVID-19 look promising.
"When we started in early April we thought this would be of interest to people but it has really taken off like wildfire," said Dr. Michael Joyner, Mayo Clinic.
The experimental plasma program is being used to treat severe cases of the virus.
More than 23,000 people across the country have gotten plasma transfusions so far.
New data from researchers shows the plasma transfusions are safe.
"That's really excellent news because that means even the sickest patients can get the plasma without too much worry or really much worry at all related to problems stemming from plasma transfusion," Dr. Joyner said.
The safety report found that less than 1% of patients who received plasma had serious adverse side effects.
"I think the main thing is you want to give it early and it seems to probably work better before people have prolonged extreme life threatening illness," Dr. Joyner said.
The mortality rate for patients who got plasma appears to be very low compared to those who didn't, but the effectiveness of the treatment is still being studied.
"Continue to think about what the next step is and how plasma might be able to help us sort of hold the line until vaccines or newer and better drugs are available," Dr. Joyner said.