NHSBT randomized study on convalescent plasma

The NHS Blood and Transplant is (NHSBT) announced on 19 October the opening of 14 more blood plasma donation centres to open until the end of 2020. These centers will collect plasma both for COVID-19 treatment trials and potential general use in hospitals. In this regard, the NHS trials of convalescent plasma are the largest randomised controlled trials for this type of treatment of COVID-19, being the first to reach 1,500 randomisations.

The opening of these centres improve access by potential donors and will be placed in areas with a high number of potential donors, enabling around 80% of these donors to reach a donor centre within 45 minutes. These centres will also be supported with the recruitment of over 300 carers and nurses.

A collection programme is being conducted since April by the NHSBT on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and will be extended. Convalescent plasma is a promising therapy to COVID-19, but further evidence through clinical trials is needed. The article cites that approximately 850 people received transfusions through the collaborations with the RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP trials across more than 200 hospitals. To date, these trials have enabled the collection of over 9,000 units of plasma by mid-October.

These centres have been quoted by Minister for Innovation Lord Bethell as being “an important step towards improving access of this innovative treatment”. The NHSBT now calls for potential donors to participate and donate in order to benefit more patients and overturn the pandemic.

You can access the full article on the NHS website here.

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