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Call for donors ahead of Straford coronavirus plasma donor centre opening

PUBLISHED: 17:20 10 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:20 10 June 2020

The NHS is appealing for donors ahead of a pop-up Covid-19 plasma donation centre opening in Westfield shopping centre. Picture: Edward Moss Photography

The NHS is appealing for donors ahead of a pop-up Covid-19 plasma donation centre opening in Westfield shopping centre. Picture: Edward Moss Photography

Edward Moss Photography

An appeal for donations has been made ahead of a coronavirus plasma donor centre opening in Stratford.

Donor Adam Drew having plasma taken at a centre in Tooting. Picture: Kirsty Hamilton PhotographyDonor Adam Drew having plasma taken at a centre in Tooting. Picture: Kirsty Hamilton Photography

The pop-up convalescent plasma donor centre at Westfield Stratford City, due to start in July, is one of three that NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is opening.

Westfield, Twickenham Stoop and the Danson Centre in Bexleyheath bring the capital’s total number of centres to six.

Convalescent plasma is the antibody rich plasma of people who have recovered from Covid-19, which can be transfused into people struggling to develop their own immune response. The antibodies can attach themselves to the virus and stop it invading cells.

London’s population and high number of early infections and recoveries have made it a target area for donations.

Prof David Roberts, NHS Blood and Transplant’s associate medical director for blood donation, said: “Thank you to everyone in London for donating convalescent plasma to try and save lives.

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“Many people who can donate will have been through a difficult experience and we are grateful for their help.

“Convalescent plasma donation is safe and easy. If you get the call, please donate. Help your NHS fight Covid-19.”

Donation takes about 45 minutes with the body usually replacing donated plasma in 24-48 hours. The body quickly replaces the antibodies. People can donate plasma as often as every two weeks.

Although there is evidence of patient benefit from the use of convalescent plasma, the safety and effectiveness of convalescent plasma transfusions needs to be confirmed by a robust clinical trial, which is being led by NHSBT’s clinical trial’s unit.

The plasma with the most antibodies tends to come from people who were more ill. For this reason, there is a need for recovered donors who are male, or aged over 35, or who were hospitalised. Their plasma is most likely to save lives.

The number of plasma donation appointments in London will increase further as the national plasma programme expands.

Offer to donate by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visit nhsbt.nhs.uk


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