Blood donation service appeals to Banburyshire's recovered coronavirus patients to donate plasma to save others

The NHS Blood and Transplant service has appealed for more Covid-19 'convalescent' plasma donors to come forward.

Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 3:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 4:00 pm
Roger Bellamy from Hornton - one of the first convalescent plasma donors in Oxfordshire

Their appeal comes after the Banbury Guardian featured the story of Roger Bellamy of Hornton who survived the virus in March and is now making regular donations of plasma.

The service says there is a critical need for Covid-19 'convalescent' donors in Oxfordshire this summer and it has put out its appeal in a bid to ensure there is enough plasma to enable a trial and treat patients.

The blood plasma from people who have recovered from the virus could save the lives of people who are still battling with the virus.

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Good Morning Britain presenter Kate Garroway and her husband Derek Draper who is receiving plasma to aid his fight against Covid-19. Picture by Getty

The husband of Good Morning Britain presented Kate Garroway - Derek Draper - who has been fighting a long battle with the virus, has received donated plasma.

More than 650 donations of COVID-19 convalescent plasma have already been taken at the Oxford donor centre. However NHS Blood and Transplant needs people to come forward to help make sure appointments are filled.

Professor Dave Roberts, Associate Director for Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Every new offer to donate is incredibly valuable. We particularly need men to come forwards as they generally have higher antibody levels.

“We need to collect convalescent plasma now, to make sure plasma is readily available for the trial to treat people currently in hospital. Donations can also be frozen to ensure convalescent plasma is readily available, should there be a rise in infections in the coming weeks.

"Please, help the NHS fight COVID-19 by donating at Oxford donor centre. You could save lives.”

Convalescent plasma is being collected at NHSBT’s 23 donor centres around the country, and several pop-up donor centres. Donation takes about 45 minutes. The body usually replaces the plasma donated within 24-48 hours. The body also quickly replaces the antibodies. People can donate plasma as often as every two weeks.

The donor plasma contains antibodies against the virus which can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response.

Potential donors are being prioritised according to who is likely to have higher antibody levels. Some people will be asked to make a short visit first to give a blood sample, to confirm their antibody levels are high enough for the trial.

NHS Blood and Transplant’s Clinical Trials Unit is collaborating on the trial with the RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP platform trials.

You can offer to donate by calling 0300 123 23 23 completing the webform at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk