January 26, 2021 5.17 pm This story is over 40 months old

Call for more plasma donors after COVID recovery

A third coronavirus trial will start soon

Over 6,000 people living in and around the Scunthorpe have signed up to donate convalescent plasma after having coronavirus.

This comes as NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is appealing for more potential plasma donors ahead of an upcoming third trial.

Convalescent plasma is the antibody-rich plasma of people who’ve had coronavirus. This can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response.

NHSBT wants more people in the area hitting the 28-day recovery mark to sign up.

Over 30 donations have so far been taken at the Scunthorpe donor centre at Berkeley House at Berkeley Business Centre on Doncaster Road, which opened in December last year.

People can register to donate online here and can donate 28 days after they’ve recovered from coronavirus.

The Lincolnshire centre is located at Berkeley House at Berkeley Business Centre on Doncaster Road in Scunthorpe. | Photo: NHSBT

NHSBT is collecting the plasma for new trials for older people or those with cancer to treat them early in the course of the infection.

Two earlier trials have now stopped for data analysis. The upcoming third trial’s focus will be on those with low immune systems and all donations are tested for COVID antibodies.

The NHS trials of convalescent plasma are the largest randomised controlled trials for this treatment of COVID-19.

Professor Dave Roberts, Associate Medical Director for Blood Donation at NHSBT, said: “More people than ever are now able to help – the time to donate is now.

“We especially need donations from people in Scunthorpe who’ve had hospital care. Men who had hospital care are around six times more likely to have the high antibody levels which might save lives.

“We have completed two trials and analysis is ongoing. We now need to collect plasma for further planned clinical studies. We’re particularly looking at high risk groups such as the elderly and people with cancer.

“Donations are vital to the ongoing lifesaving research, which gives us a better understanding of how we can best treat patients with COVID-19 and help prevent deaths in the future.”