Calls for recovered Covid-19 patients in Leeds to donate plasma in national trial

Hospitals in Leeds are taking part in a national trial which could identify a treatment for coronavirus.

The trial, led by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), is collecting convalescent plasma - the antibody-rich plasma of people who have recovered from the virus.

Convalescent plasma can be given to people who are struggling to develop an immune response to the illness and the trial is examining whether this plasma can improve a patient’s speed of recovery and chances of survival.

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Patients under the care of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust may now receive convalescent plasma, which will be transfused when they are in intensive care or ahead of possible admission into intensive care.

Patients under the care of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust may now receive convalescentplasma in the national trial

Although there is some evidence of patient benefit from the use of convalescent plasma, the safety and effectiveness of transfusions needs to be confirmed by the clinical trial.

The results of the trial are expected in the late summer and plasma donations can be frozen ahead of any second wave of disease.

Dr Heather Iles-Smith, Head of Nursing Research and Innovation for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Leeds said: “Convalescent plasma may have the potential to help patients whose immune systems aren’t producing enough antibodies.

"By taking part in this trial, we will help national research to understand whether convalescent plasma could be widely used."

People who have recovered from Covid-19 are being encouraged to donate convalescent plasma at Leeds Blood Donor Centre on The Headrow, operated by NHSBT.

Recovered patients may be contacted to take part in the trial or they can register their details through a form on the NHSBT website.

An NHSBT spokesperson said: “We thank everyone who is donating convalescent plasma and we hope this treatment proves to be of benefit to patients at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

“Plasma donation is safe and easy and you could save lives. You’ll also be playing a part in world-leading research and treatment. If you get the call, please donate.”

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