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Across 46 states and 57 institutions, doctors and scientists are studying plasma — a component of the blood — extracted from coronavirus survivors to determine whether it can be used to treat other patients.

The University of Texas Health Science Center and the Memorial Hermann Health System have joined the initiative, called the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project.

In a press release on the project, Henry Wang, MD, MS, professor and executive vice chair of research in the Department of Emergency Medicine with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, broke down how plasma therapy could potentially help those with COVID-19.

"To fight an infection, you need antibodies to track down and kill the virus," he said. "People who are critically ill from the COVID-19 virus often don't have the antibodies needed to fight the virus. Using this strategy called 'convalescent plasma,' we transfuse the antibodies from surviving victims in hopes that it will attack the virus and boost recovery."

The University of Texas Health Science Center and the Memorial Hermann Health System are asking people in the greater Houston area to consider donating blood if they have had a confirmed case of COVID-19.

The press release states that donors must be at least 18 years of age and in overall good health, without any cold or flu symptoms. They also must have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis documented by a laboratory test, and be fully recovered from COVID-19, with no symptoms for at least 14 days before the donation.

Anyone interested can fill out this form.

Read the full press release here.

Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a look at Philly Fighting Covid, a nonprofit organization run by graduate students from Drexel University that aims to help with mass COVID-19 vaccination in Philadelphia.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Andrei Doroshin, founder of Philly Fighting Covid.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

HD Live! Videos

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Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation at the University of Michigan, and Brian Blase, who served as a healthcare adviser to President Trump from 2017-2019 and is now president and CEO of Blase Policy Strategies.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Inger Damon and Dr. Tom Talbot, IDWeek Chairs, for a summary of the latest data on a range of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with AAP's Dr. Elizabeth Murray on the key takeaways of the event.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on what could happen this flu season as COVID-19 still rages on across the country. How can we protect ourselves, and what can we and the health care system do to prepare for and potentially prevent a twindemic?

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Nadia Eltaki, director of clinical operations at Sibley Memorial Hospital, on guidance on how to protect yourself and how a twindemic could impact the health care system.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

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Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine and how the United States would need to prepare for a mass vaccination program.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Amesh Adalja from the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Kelly Moore from Vanderbilt School of Medicine and associate director for immunization education with the Immunization Action Coalition.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.