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Wis. hospitals experience ‘critical need’ for convalescent plasma

The American Red Cross said it needs more convalescent plasma donations.
The American Red Cross said it needs more convalescent plasma donations.(Max Cotton)
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 7:40 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - UW Health is urging those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate convalescent plasma Wednesday, saying there is a “critical need for it.”

According to a news release, it will be several months before the approved COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. However, convalescent plasma is a form of treatment for patients who are currently hospitalized with the virus.

Director of UW Health’s convalescent plasma program, William Hartman, explained that while it is valuable to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, donating plasma after recovering from COVID-19 can help reduce the impact of the virus.

“There is a critical shortage of convalescent plasma in the Midwest,” Hartman says. “We have to use all the tools we can.”

UW Health pediatrician and newborn hospitalist at UnityPoint Health-Meriter Jasmine Zapata donated her convalescent plasma after recently recovering from COVID-19. She encouraged others to do the same.

“There is a lot of talk about vaccines,” Zapata said. “But while we wait for them to be widely available it is critically important to continue to donate plasma, and I encourage people who have recovered to join me.”

UW Health says patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and are interested in donating plasma can contact them to do so.

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