Call for more volunteers to join COVID-19 plasma trial in London

Katherine Johnston (26 October, 2020)

'We would love to see people in London offering to donate'

39868The donation centre in Stratford Westfield. Two new centres, including one in Croydon, have been announced. Credit: Kirsty Hamilton Photography

NHS Blood and Transplant is calling for people who have had COVID-19 to sign up as donors for the world’s largest blood plasma trial.

Two new blood plasma centres are being opened in Croydon and Tottenham, by NHS Blood and Transplant, to expand research into the new treatment. 

Research is taking place into how blood from people who have confirmed COVID-19 antibodies can help patients whose immune systems are struggling to respond to the virus. 

Initial research shows the antibodies could slow or stop the virus spreading, potentially saving lives, but further evidence in randomised control trials is needed.

More than 6000 donations of COVID-19 convalescent plasma have been taken in London, with hospitals in the capital transfusing around 85 people so far.

Professor David Roberts, NHSBT Associate Medical Director for Blood Donation, and also one of the trial’s principal investigators, said: “We have so far seen a fantastic response from the public. 

“We would love to see people in London offering to donate so we can book them into donation appointments now. Donation is safe and easy, and you could save lives.”

Visits take just over an hour, including donation, checks and snacks. 

The body usually replaces donated plasma within 24 to 48 hours and antibodies are also quickly replaced.

If you’ve had confirmed coronavirus or the symptoms, you can volunteer to donate plasma at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk

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