NHSBT reassures blood and platelet donors over appointment changes to enable Covid-19 trial

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NHS Blood and Transplant is reassuring blood and platelet donors in London that they should not be concerned if their appointment is cancelled over the next few weeks.

NHS Blood and Transplant is beginning to collect convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19 to support a national clinical trial.

To free up appointments in donor centres, some blood and platelet donation appointments in London are being cancelled and rescheduled.

Donors can be assured that blood and platelet stocks are good and there will be no impact on supplies. The fantastic response of our donors during the coronavirus pandemic means blood stocks are currently above average. Freeing up appointments will enable more donations that could save the lives of critically ill Covid-19 patients.

Since the outbreak, we have seen drop in demand for blood as hospitals cancel non-urgent surgery such as hip operations. This means there is enough capacity to change blood donation appointments into plasma donation appointments.

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An NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are still collecting blood and platelets in London so please keep making appointments to donate. Blood donation saves lives.

“This new trial is part of the national research effort against the coronavirus and we hope people understand if we make any changes to your appointment.

“If your appointment is cancelled until another day it means we have good blood stocks, and the appointment time can be used for someone to donate plasma to a seriously ill Covid-19 patient.”

The plasma trial will investigate whether transfusions of antibody rich plasma from people who have recovered could help people who are still unwell. Plasma will be mainly collected in selected cities with blood donor centres.

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