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Health care providers plea for convalescent plasma


FILE – In this Feb. 18, 2020, file photo, Dr. Zhou Min, a recovered COVID-19 patient who has passed his 14-day quarantine, donates plasma in the city’s blood center in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients contains antibodies that may help reduce the viral load in patients that are fighting the disease. (Chinatopix via AP, File)

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As the Natural State sees more and more spikes in COVID-19 cases, the need for donated plasma also rises.

What’s happened is the demand has increased and our supply of plasma is dwindling so we are kind of in a crunch here.


Convalescent plasma is a blood transfusion procedure where health care providers like Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Stephen Hennigan, administer plasma donated from recovered COVD-19 patients to help treat those currently battling the deadly virus.

“I think we are really seeing some encouraging results with this kind of multifaceted approach,” Dr. Hennigan said.

Dr. Hennigan has been using this method since April.

He said it’s saved many lives due to the antibodies it contains to fight of the coronavirus.

“I can’t stress enough how important this is,” he said.

With the increase in COVID-19 cases in areas like Washington and Benton counties, Dr. Hennigan said Northwest Arkansas is experiencing a shortage in this life-saving procedure.

“I think we’ve got one day’s worth of plasma,” he said.

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks in Springdale is the only local plasma center in our area.

Some people may be going to places where they pay for plasma donations, but the problem? It doesn’t go directly to NWA, it goes to pharmaceutical companies.

It should be completely plentiful and bountiful because there all these people who have survived, that can donate.


Dr. Hennigan’s plea is for Arkansans to understand how critically important it is to do this simple good deed.

“That’s what I want,” Dr. Hennigan said. “I want masks and I want convalescent plasma.”

He said he fears what’s to come without it.

“I hope Arkansas as a state that we can be responsible and not have to take this the hard way,” he said.

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