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UW Hospital joins national effort to study plasma treatment for COVID-19
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UW Hospital joins national effort to study plasma treatment for COVID-19

From the The COVID-19 pandemic hits home: Keep up with the latest local news on the coronavirus outbreak series
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UW Hospital has joined the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which plans to study the use of antibodies from people who have recovered from the viral respiratory disease to treat patients newly infected with it.

The project, led by doctors at Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University and other institutions, plans to start three studies once they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

It’s not clear when approval might come, but the trials are expected to start within weeks, not months, Dr. Nasia Safdar, medical director of infection control at UW Health, said Tuesday. The project is working with the American Red Cross and blood banks to get started.

The research involves using antibodies from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, or what is known as convalescent plasma, which can help the immune systems of newly infected patients attack the virus. A similar approach has been used for decades for other infections such as Ebola and influenza.

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