Posted: Mon 13th Apr 2020

Blood donations from Welsh coronavirus patients could be used to help others develop immunity

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Monday, Apr 13th, 2020

Blood donations taken from Welsh coronavirus patients are to be used to help combat the pandemic.

Plasma has been used daily by the NHS for a variety of needs for many years.

‘Convalescent plasma’ taken from those who have recovered from COVID-19 will now help others develop immunity as it ‘transfuses’ antibodies against the virus.

Eligible patients are being invited by letter to donate blood to the scheme.

The Welsh Blood Service,  Welsh Government, Public Health Wales and University Hospital of Wales are working with other organisations across the UK to share knowledge.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, said: “It’s brilliant to see Wales is playing a leading role on this project which has the potential to significantly improve patient recovery and save lives.

“We will be capturing all outcomes and feeding into the UK and worldwide learning on the use of this technology.”

The plasma will be collected by the Welsh Blood Service and could be used for clinical trials.

Donors must be fully recovered before donating and plasma will be collected no sooner than 28 days after they are better.

Senior Professional Advisor to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gill Richardson, said: “Convalescent plasma is plasma that is collected from patients who have recovered from disease, in this case COVID-19.

“Plasma from patients who have recovered from the virus will contain antibodies that a patient’s immune system has produced to fight the virus.

“This can be transfused to patients whose immune systems are struggling to develop their own antibodies.

“In the absence of any current vaccine or antiviral therapy, it has significant potential to aid the recovery of patients.”

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