UW Health injects COVID-19 patient with plasma from someone who recovered

The plasma for an experimental procedure in which plasma from a person who recovered from...
The plasma for an experimental procedure in which plasma from a person who recovered from COVID-19 is injected into a person who is still suffering from it. (Source: UW Health)(NBC15)
Published: Apr. 13, 2020 at 9:02 AM CDT
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For the first time, the medical staff at UW Health injected a patient suffering from COVID-19 with plasma donated by someone who has recovered from it.

Doctors hope the donated plasma will help the patient recover quickly from their illness. According to the University, testing related to other respiratory diseases and preliminary research from China indicate the procedure could limit the severity or even shorten the length of their sickness.

The trial is part of a nationwide effort, the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program, which both UW Health and the School of Medicine and Public health have joined.

The therapy has been tried in patients infected with diseases stemming from the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza epidemic, the 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, and the 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic, UW Health explained. They noted both SARS and MERS are also types of coronavirus.

UW Health explains that the plasma is the liquid part of the blood and contains pathogen-fighting antibodies produced in response to an infection. The transfusion will take those antibodies and give them to the patient who is still ill.

Anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 is asked to donate plasma for the experiment. They can do so by reaching out to the UW Health by calling 608-262-8300 or by emailing uwcovid19project@hslc.wisc.edu.