Hospital doctor who beat coronavirus donates plasma to help other patients

Dr Zahid Safra recovered from the illness and has donated his antibody-rich plasma to help others Credit: BPM

A doctor from Birmingham has become one of the first people todonate plasma to help save lives in the battle against coronavirus.

Dr Zahid Safraz, who works at Sandwell Hospital, recovered from the illness and donated his antibody-rich plasma, which can be given to people who are struggling to overcome the disease.

It's part of a major new programme to collect plasma from people who have recovered from the deadly bug and developed strong antibodies to fight it. Their plasma can be transfused to patients whose immune systems arestruggling to develop their own antibodies.

The trial will investigate whether plasma transfusions could improve the overall recovery and chances of survival of people with Covid-19.

“Everybody has been playing their part and I am hoping that, by donating plasma, I can help too. It’s wonderful to come in and easy to donate. I did feel some fear when I was ill. I had aches and headaches and later became breathless. I had a positive test. Now I am back in work I see COVID-19 patients in my work, from the mild to the very ill.”

Dr Safraz

Natalie Stretton from Castle Bromwich is also donating her plasma. She said: “I became ill in January. I feels quite nice to be able to help people. I got a call from the NHS and they checked to make sure I met the general donor eligibility.

“Hopefully I will help someone is seriously ill in their time of need.”

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesman said: “This trial isworld-leading research and these people are leading the way. Plasmadonation is safe and easy and you could help save the lives of otherswith coronavirus.

"We recognise some donors will have had a difficult experience and wewill make everyone feel cared for and welcome. If you get the call,please donate.”