A doctor in Panama City holds a donation of convalescent blood plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient. Scientists hope antibodies in the plasma will help people who are critically ill from the coronavirus. (Arnulfo Franco / Associated Press)

Taking antibody-rich blood plasma from people who have recovered from coronavirus infections and transferring it to patients who are severely ill with COVID-19 does not appear to increase their risk of dying from the disease, according to initial results of a nationwide clinical trial.

What’s more, the findings offer an early hint that the treatment may indeed save lives.

The early safety reading, posted this week to the MedRxiv website, likely clears the way for larger clinical trials to test two potential uses for plasma harvested from recovered COVID-19 patients:

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