Plasma donors needed in London as world’s largest randomised plasma trial for Covid expands


NHS Blood and Transplant is opening two new blood plasma donation centres in London as the world’s largest plasma trial for Covid-19 expands.

Croydon and Tottenham donor centres will open as two of 14 new plasma donation centres supporting two COVID-19 treatment trials.

The new centres will open in the next few weeks. The final venues are being agreed and will be announced shortly.

There is an urgent need for people in London who’ve had Covid to register as donors now, so that they can be booked into appointments in advance. You can register online by searching ‘donate plasma’.

The antibody-rich plasma of people who’ve had coronavirus can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response. The antibodies could slow or stop the virus spreading, which could save lives.

There is promising evidence for the effectiveness of convalescent plasma but before general use patient benefit needs to be demonstrated in randomised control trials. The NHS Blood and Transplant led trials are the world’s largest randomised clinical trials of convalescent plasma.

Donations are urgently needed so that if the trial confirms patient benefit, plasma can be made readily available for general use in the NHS.

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More than 6000 donations of Covid-19 convalescent plasma have been taken in London. Hospitals in London have transfused around 85 people.

NHSBT currently collects plasma in 28 areas and Croydon and Tottenham are two of 14 chosen for the expansion of autumn and winter because it has a significant number of potential donors.

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.”

Donation takes about 45 minutes. The whole visit – including the donation, snacks and checks – takes about 1 hour 15 minutes. Your body usually replaces the plasma you’ve donated in 24-48 hours. Your body also quickly replaces the donated antibodies. All donations are tested for Covid antibodies. NHSBT is collaborating with the REMAP-CAP and RECOVERY trials.

If you’ve had confirmed coronavirus or the symptoms, you can volunteer to donate plasma

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