Coronavirus survivors urged to give plasma to save lives

Coronavirus survivors are being asked to donate blood plasma so new patients can be treated.

The NHS Blood and Transplant Service (NHSBT) has appealed for the plasma which has antibodies that stop the virus growing.

The NHSBT wants the convalescent plasma for clinical trials.

Donors need to have tested positive for Covid-19 and be about 28 days into their recovery.

The number of antibodies is thought to be at its peak between 21 and 28 days.

Giving plasma is different from giving blood.

It takes about 45 minutes to complete the process.

The criteria for donation are:

  • be between 17 and 66 years old
  • weigh between 50kg and 158kg
  • not be pregnant, or had a baby, miscarriage, or termination within six month
  • not have an existing or earlier heart condition
  • not have had a transfusion since 1st January 1980

Research shows antibodies drawn from COVID-19 survivors improves the symptoms of other positive patients.

The NHSBT said in a statement:

“If fully approved, the trials will investigate whether convalescent plasma transfusions could improve a COVID-19 patient’s speed of recovery and chances of survival.

“All clinical trials have to follow a rigorous approval process to protect patients and to ensure robust results are generated.

“We are working closely with the government and all relevant bodies to move through the approvals process as quickly as possible.”

 


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.



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