April 13, 2020

First COVID-19 Patient at University Hospital Treated with Plasma from Recovered Patient

Madison, Wisconsin - A COVID-19 patient at University Hospital has received the first transfusion of plasma donated from a local patient who has since recovered from the disease.

UW Health and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) are part of the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program --a nationwide effort to study whether giving plasma from people who survived COVID-19 to patients who are seriously ill with the disease can help shorten the duration or severity of their illness.

Convalescent plasma therapy has been studied previously in other respiratory infections, including the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, the 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, and the 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic. SARS and MERS are both coronaviruses. Based on those studies and some limited data published recently by doctors in China, researchers believe convalescent plasma has the potential to lessen the severity or shorten the length of illness caused by COVID-19.

People who have recovered from a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and would like to donate their plasma for use in this experimental treatment can learn more by calling 608-262-8300 or e-mailing uwcovid19project@hslc.wisc.edu.

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