Blood plasma appeal for coronavirus recoverers in Essex which ‘could save lives’

NHS Blood and Transplant wants more people who have recovered from Covid-19 to become donors.

People in Essex, who've recovered from coronavirus, are being urged to donate their blood plasma.

It comes as a new donor centre has opened at Victoria House in Chelmsford.

The plasma contains antibodies that will be used to treat patients in Covid trials.

NHS Blood and Transplant says it could "slow or stop" the virus spreading and "save lives."

“We would love to see people in Chelmsford and Essex offering to donate so we can book them into donation appointments now", Prof Dave Roberts, NHSBT associate medical director for blood donation, said.

Donation is safe and easy, and you could save lives. Your body quickly replaces the antibodies afterwards.”

The new plasma donation centre in Victoria House, Duke Street, Chelmsford. Credit: NHS Blood and Transplant

The plasma is transfused into patients who are struggling to develop their own immune response.

More than 40 people are already booked in to donate at the new centre over the next month.

Around 50 people have received plasma transfusions at hospitals in Essex.

NHS Blood and Transplant says it especially needs male and black and ethnic minority donors to come forward, as they generally have "higher antibody levels" after they have recovered.

By the end of this year, there will be 42 plasma donation centres across England, so that 80% of potential donors can reach one within 45 minutes.

Plasma collected at the centre will be used in clinical trials

Donations are safe and similar to blood donation.

The process involves the blood being put into a cell separator machine, that spins the blood and separates the blood cells from the plasma and then returns the cells to the donor.

It takes around 45 minutes and the body usually replaces the plasma that has been donated in 24 hours.