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Residents who have recovered from Covid-19 are urged to consider being a plasma donor - and help save the lives of others!

NHS Blood and Transplant has opened a new ‘pop-up’ COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor centre at the Harlequin’s Rugby ground - Twickenham Stoop.

Convalescent plasma is the antibody rich plasma of people who have recovered from COVID-19, which can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response. The antibodies can attach themselves to the virus and stop it invading cells.

The NHS is urgently trying to collect plasma and are asking people from London who live near a donor centre and who have recovered from COVID-19 to get in touch on 0300 123 23 23 or register their interest via the NHSBT website as they may be able to donate too.

Cllr Lotte Campanale, Chair of the Policy and Performance Review Board for Richmond Council, has personal experience on why this is so important, she said:

“My husband thought he had “Man Flu” but by day ten he just got worse. He had Coronavirus.

“Mark was treated at Kingston Hospital for Viral Pneumonia and required oxygen therapy.

“When he was discharged, he didn’t have an opportunity to thank all the wonderful staff that saved his life. So, he donated his plasma - to help save someone else’s life.

“Each post convalescent plasma donation can be used to treat three people. These donations can mean a matter of life or death for so many patients. I urge people who are eligible, if you can - donate.”

Prof David Roberts, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Associate Medical Director for Blood Donation, added:

“Thank you to everyone in London for donating convalescent plasma to try and save lives.

“We know many people who can donate will have been through a difficult experience and we are grateful for their help.

“Convalescent plasma donation is safe and easy. If you get the call, please donate. Help your NHS fight COVID-19.”

More about convalescent plasma donation

Convalescent plasma donation takes about 45 minutes, during which time you can sit back and relax. Your body usually replaces the plasma you’ve donated in 24-48 hours and you can get on with your normal day after donating. Your body quickly replaces the antibodies and people can donate plasma as often as every two weeks.

Although there is some evidence of patient benefit from the use of convalescent plasma, the safety and effectiveness of convalescent plasma transfusions needs to be confirmed by a robust clinical trial, which is being led by NHSBT’s Clinical Trial’s Unit.

The plasma with the most antibodies tends to come from people who were more ill. For this reason, there is a particular need for recovered donors who are male, or who are aged over 35, or who were hospitalised. Their plasma is most likely to be able to save lives.

Plasma donations are being taken in the capital at the donor centres in:

  • West End Blood Donor Centre, Westminster - which has taken more than 530 donations already
  • Edgware Blood Donor Centre, Barnet - which has taken more than 150 donations already
  • Tooting Blood Donor Centre, Wandsworth - which has taken more than 300 donations already
  • Twickenham Stoop - which opened this week
  • Danson Centre, Bexleyheath - which opened this week
  • Westfield, Stratford - which is opening in July

– from a Richmond Council press release - 18 June 2020