Wauwatosa-based Versiti, Inc. will soon begin collecting plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to potentially treat those with the virus.

As researchers race to develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, blood centers across the country are beginning to collect plasma for the investigational therapy, which is expected to be used with patients most severely affected by the virus.

Versiti is receiving donations across its network, which includes the BloodCenter of Wisconsin and blood centers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The blood centers are working with partner hospitals in each of those states to identify recovered COVID patients. They must meet a set of guidelines, including having proof of a positive lab test result and then a negative test result 14 days after recovering from symptoms.

“It’s a very collaborative effort with our hospital partners who will be working to identify and verify the donors,” said Dan Waxman, senior medical director for Versiti.

Dr. Thomas Abshire, chief medical officer for Versiti, said the pool of potential donors will grow in the next few weeks, as more people are tested and recover from the virus.

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Read their April 6 press release here.