A new blood plasma donor centre has opened in Stockton to help those who have coronavirus.
NHS Blood and Transplant has issued and urgent call for anyone who has had COVID-19 to register as a donor and consider donating at Dunedin House, Columbia Drive, Thornaby.
Plasma collected at the centre will be used in clinical trials to determine whether the antibody-rich blood plasma found in people who have had coronavirus (known as convalescent plasma) could be an effective treatment for those with the virus.
The plasma is transfused into patients who are struggling to develop their own immune response. The antibodies could slow or stop the virus spreading, which could save lives.
Professor Mike Murphy is a Consultant Haematologist for NHS Blood & Transplant:
people are booked in to donate over the next month
people have received plasma transfusions at Teeside hospitals
people in the North East offered to donate plasma last week
Anyone aged 18 years or over who has had COVID-19 can offer to donate blood plasma donor. Donating takes 45 minutes and the whole appointment, including time for snacks, lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes.
We would love to see people in Teeside offering to donate so we can book them into donation appointments now. Donation is safe and easy, and you could save lives. Your body quickly replaces the antibodies afterwards.
NHSBT especially needs more male and BAME donors to come forward as their plasma is more likely to contain the higher levels of antibodies required. People who needed hospital treatment are especially likely to have high antibody levels.
By the end of this year, there will be 42 plasma donation points across England so that 80% of potential donors can reach one within 45 minutes.