Blood from COVID survivors to be used to treat critically ill patients in UK

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Blood from coronavirus survivors to be used to treat critically ill patients in UK hospitals

Blood from COVID survivors will be used to treat critical patients across UK hospitals, it has emerged.

Blood and Transplant are collecting donated plasma from people who’ve had Coronavirus.

Medics are hopeful it could improve an infected patient’s speed of recovery and chances of survival.

Plasma is thought to be rich in antibodies, produced by the immune system while fighting the infection.

An NHS spokeswoman said – NHS Blood and Transplant is preparing to collect Coronavirus convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from this illness.

“We envisage that this will be initially used in trials as a possible treatment for Coronavirus.

“If fully approved, the trials will investigate whether convalescent plasma transfusions could improve a Coronavirus patient’s speed of recovery and chances of survival.

All clinical trials have to follow a rigorous approval process to protect patients and to ensure robust results are generated.

We are working closely with the Government and all relevant bodies to move through the approvals process as quickly as possible.

People who have recovered from Coronavirus can register with the NHS if they are interested in donating plasma but they should not just turn up at blood donation centres.

Scientists say there’s no guarantee it’ll work but hope that it will give them time to develop new, specific treatments for coronavirus.

It’ll also allow them to test experimental anti-viral drugs like chloroquine and remdesivir.

Dr Arturo Casadevall, of Johns Hopkins University, said that historical evidence of convalescent serum – as it’s officially known – is encouraging.

READ MORE: New study reveals llama blood contains antibodies for combating coronavirus.