How is Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) treated?

In most cases, the patient is hospitalized and vital signs are carefully monitored. The hospital stay can vary from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how serious the condition is.

Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) is one possible treatment. In this treatment, blood is drawn and plasma (the liquid part of the blood) is removed. The cells are placed back into the body. This treatment can shorten the length and severity of GBS symptoms. Another treatment is immunoglobulin therapy, in which healthy blood is put into a person to try to counteract harmful antibodies.

Physical therapy is given once the person with GBS begins to regain control of his or her limbs. Some patients with severe GBS are put on a ventilator to help them breathe.

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