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Marcus Smart to Donate Plasma for Research against Coronavirus

Smart is trying to make a difference after recovering from COVID-19.

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Marcus Smart’s spat with COVID-19 was quick and relatively uneventful, but now the former Big 12 Player of the Year is hoping to make an impact in the fight against the coronavirus.

Smart plans to donate plasma to the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project for research, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The project is an experimental treatment that could help high-risk patients recover from COVID-19.

Smart, who played two seasons at Oklahoma State, announced he tested positive for the virus March 19. On Monday, Smart announced that the Massachusetts Department of Health cleared him on Friday and that throughout his diagnosis he didn’t have any symptoms.

People who fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that attack the virus, according to the American Red Cross. Convalescent plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients seriously ill with COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project is made up of a group of physicians and scientists from 34 institutions in 17 states who have self-organized for the purpose of investigating the use of convalescent plasma in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Smart is one of four NBA players set to donate to the cause.

Michael Joyner, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic, told ABC News the NBA players’ plasma could be especially valuable.

“These are big men with blood volumes, and as a result [they] have a lot of plasma volume,” Joyner said. “Frequently people who are physically trained also have an increase in their plasma volume from what you would expect from them just being regular-sized guys.”

If you or someone you know has recovered from COVID-19 and would like more information on donating plasma, you can learn more about it through the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project or the American Red Cross.

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