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Second blood bank in Madison accepting plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients
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COVID-19 | SEARCH FOR ANTIBODY TREATMENT

Second blood bank in Madison accepting plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients

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COVID-19 antibodies

Jason Storkson, left, of the American Red Cross in Madison, collects plasma from Gary Dalgaard, of Sun Prairie, for use by a UW Hospital patient fighting COVID-19. Dalgaard recovered from the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. 

A second blood bank in Madison is accepting plasma donations from people who have recovered from COVID-19 to study an antibody treatment for patients with the disease, in a project separate from one involving UW Hospital.

Interstate Blood and Plasma, with locations in Madison and elsewhere in Wisconsin and other states, is collecting plasma from recovered patients to study a treatment involving hyperimmune globulin. The product contains a concentration of antibodies, immune system proteins that help the body fight infection, and is similar to what is called convalescent plasma.

Grifols, an international company based in Barcelona, Spain, is majority owner of Interstate Blood and Plasma centers. The company said it is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Biomedical Advanced Research Authority to develop hyperimmune globulin.

The product will undergo controlled clinical trials with the National Institutes of Health to evaluate its safety and efficacy as a viable treatment for COVID-19, Grifols said in a statement.

Recovered COVID-19 individuals interested in donating plasma can call 1-866-363-2819 (1-866-END-CV19) or visit grifolsplasma.com.

UW Hospital is part of the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, involving Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University and other medical centers around the country. The centers are using American Red Cross sites, including those in Madison, for plasma donation.

People who would like to donate their plasma for use at UW Hospital or other centers in the national project can learn more by calling 608-262-8300 or visiting go.madison.com/redcross.

Since the first Madison-area plasma donation was collected April 10, about 50 donors who recovered from COVID-19 have contributed plasma at Red Cross sites in Madison, said Dr. William Hartman, a UW Health anesthesiology leading the hospital’s effort. At UW Hospital, 14 patients with serious cases of the disease have been treated, eight of whom have been discharged, with five more expected to be discharged by the end of the week, Hartman said Wednesday.

Some of the patients appeared to show significant improvement from the convalescent plasma, Hartman said. But it’s too early to say what level of benefit the treatment may provide because it has yet to undergo broader studies comparing treated patients with those not getting plasma, he said.

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