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Ashford Hospital

Seven patients at Ashford & St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have now received COVID convalescent plasma treatment.

Ashford & St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has now treated seven people with COVID convalescent plasma in a ground-breaking clinical trial. The national trial will find out whether these plasma transfusions could save the lives of people with coronavirus.

Patients receive the antibody-rich plasma of people who’ve already survived. The antibodies could slow or stop the virus spreading, which could save lives. The plasma is being collected and supplied to hospitals at NHS Blood and Transplant. Ashford & St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is supporting the urgent call for people who’ve had coronavirus to donate plasma at NHSBT’s Twickenham Donor Centre. Around 1,250 donations have been taken at Twickenham so far. Donations are urgently needed now so that if the trial confirms patient benefit, stocks can be made available for general use.

Convalescent plasma is the antibody-rich plasma of people who’ve had coronavirus, and can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response. The antibodies could slow or stop the virus spreading, which could save lives.

The number of people receiving transfusions is rising around the country, with more 280 people receiving the treatment during September, the highest number so far. There is promising evidence for the effectiveness of convalescent plasma but before general use, patient benefit needs to be demonstrated in randomised control trials. Ashford & St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is collaborating with the RECOVERY arm of the national plasma trial.

Professor Pankaj Sharma, Director of Research and Development at Ashford & St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The devastating effects of coronavirus have impacted virtually every person in the UK. We urgently require new strategies to deal with this virus and this trial offers potential hope to those most seriously affected. The fact that Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals are participating in a nationwide effort to combat this disease is a credit to our staff and local community. I would like to thank those who have already donated and taken part in the studies that will help us to understand more about how to treat the condition. I would strongly encourage those who have fully recovered from the virus and have antibodies to come forward and donate their plasma for the benefit of the sickest patients.”

Professor Dave Roberts, NHS Blood and Transplant Associate Director of Blood Donation, said: “We thank Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for collaborating on this trial. We urgently need people who have had coronavirus or the symptoms to donate blood plasma now. We are using this plasma in a trial to determine if it is effective treatment to treat COVID-19 and, ultimately, save lives.”

If you’ve had confirmed coronavirus or the symptoms, you can volunteer to donate plasma at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk