Carilion Clinic on Wednesday asked people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma that then will be used to treat hospital patients.
Carilion is participating in a national research project sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Mayo Clinic to see if plasma infusions with antibodies from recovered patients will help the sickest COVID-19 patients fight the virus.
Similar therapies have been used to treat other viral infections, and preliminary studies have been encouraging that antibodies from recovered patients can help.
Carilion asked that people who have recovered from a verified case of COVID-19 donate through the American Red Cross.
The request comes as the number of hospital admissions across Virginia rose by 125 patients from Tuesday to Wednesday. Since March, 3,520 Virginians have been hospitalized for treatment of the virus, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
The Virginia Hospital and Health Care Association reported Wednesday that 1,526 patients have confirmed cases or are awaiting test results. Of them, 374 are in intensive care units and 202 are on ventilators
The health department reported an additional 8,845 test results from Tuesday to Wednesday, for a total of 180,084.
Deaths were up 36 to 927.
Total cases were up 946 to 26,746, which includes 25,431 confirmed cases and 1,315 probable cases. Probable cases include those diagnosed by clinicians but not confirmed by lab results, and those that came from antibody tests showing someone had the disease but had not yet been confirmed by the health department.