NHS Donor Appeal
by TIM HICKS
The NHS Blood & Transplant Convalescent Plasma Programme Communications Team have contacted the NYE and asked us to run an appeal for donors.
The NHS Blood and Transplant is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. It provides the blood donation service for England and the organ donation service for the UK. It also provides donated tissues, stem cells and cord blood. It is an essential part of the NHS, saving and improving lives through public donation.
Appeal from the NHS Blood & Transplant Convalescent Plasma Programme
Latest data from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) shows people in Yorkshire who were previously in hospital with COVID-19 have donated plasma 90 times.
Donors who received hospital treatment for coronavirus are more likely to have the high level of antibodies needed for convalescent plasma, which could help others in hospital struggling to develop their own immune response to the virus.
If clinical trials show patient benefit, plasma could be a life-saving treatment for people who won’t respond to vaccination, such as those receiving chemotherapy, and before vaccines are fully introduced.
Already, the region’s two donor centres in Leeds, as well as additional centres in Bradford and Kirklees have taken 90 donations from 41 patients who were in hospital earlier this year.
Trevor Bayfield, 55 caught COVID-19 while skiing in Italy. He broke his leg and shoulder and after treatment in hospital there was medivac’d to York Hospital before being transferred to Hull in the very early days of the pandemic. Doctors at the time told him he was one of the first people in Yorkshire to be treated with the virus.
The sales manager, from Ryedale spent eleven days in hospital, 3 of those on oxygen. He’s now recovering, owing to the injuries he suffered in his skiing accident it’s taken some time, but all is going well.
“I definitely know I’ve had the virus, I’m not as active as I was but I am very keen to help however I can.”
“I’m now up to 14 plasma donations and have my 15th booked in for Christmas Eve. I will continue on as long as I am able to and would encourage anyone who has either had symptoms or a confirmed case to offer to donate their plasma.”
This latest data comes as NHSBT renews its call for more donors to support its clinical trials for convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19. The trials will determine whether the antibody-rich blood plasma found in people who’ve had coronavirus could be an effective treatment for general use in the NHS.
Professor David Roberts, NHSBT associate medical director for blood donation, said: “Our analysis shows people who had hospital care make our best donors. They have the highest antibody levels and their antibodies stay higher for longer. Your body quickly replaces the donated plasma and antibodies and it does not affect antibody levels in the long term.
“We are grateful to people in Yorkshire who have been willing to donate their plasma. Especially to those who were in hospital and will have had a difficult time this year. By donating, they could be helping to save lives.”
People of all levels of illness can donate – including people with minor symptoms – but there is a special need for the most seriously ill people to donate as new analysis shows generally they have the highest antibody levels.
If you’ve had confirmed coronavirus or the symptoms, you can volunteer today to donate plasma at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk or simply search online for ‘donate plasma’.
The Lockdown Rules
You can access the lockdown rules using the links provided by North Yorkshire Police below.