Blood Transfusion Service need donations of Convalescent Plasma

With Covid-19 cases surging across the country, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) needs 350 people per week to donate Convalescent Plasma during lockdown – and help save the lives of sick coronavirus patients.

Potenial donors must:

  • have tested positive for Covid-19
  • have been symptom-free for 28 days, and now feel fit and well and have returned to normal activities
  • be aged 17-65 (or up to 67 if you’re a regular blood donor)
  • meet the usual eligibility criteria for blood donation

Dr Nicole Priddee, SNBTS Consultant Haematologist said,

“Giving blood is considered essential travel by the Scottish Government – and if you’ve had Covid-19, your journey could help save the lives of those still suffering.

“If you’re an adult who has recovered from Covid-19, it’s usually because your immune system developed anti Covid-19 antibodies. If you then donate your plasma, Scottish hospitals can use it in the fight against Covid-19.

“Right now, doctors across the UK are using Convalescent Plasma to treat patients in clinical trials, and the need is rapidly rising. However, antibody levels reduce rapidly after four months, so it’s critical to get in touch sooner rather than later.

“Donors can now give Convalescent Plasma at any blood donation session across the country, ranging from our city donor centres to local sessions in town halls. Appointments can only be booked by phoning 0345 90 90 999, and stating that you want to give Convalescent Plasma.”

There are currently two methods of donating Convalescent Plasma:

  • whole blood collection, which can be done at any session, and is a standard blood donation which is later split into plasma and red cells in laboratories.
  • plasmapheresis, which uses a special machine to separate your plasma and red cells, and returns your red cells to your body (this takes a little longer, and can only be done in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee donor centres), and

Convalescent Plasma collected in Scotland is currently being used as part of a major coronavirus treatment trial (known as RECOVERY). If the trial is successful, Convalescent Plasma will be rolled out for widespread use in hospitals.

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