COVID-19: blood plasma treatment tested at Guy's and St Thomas'
May 05 2020
While there now is no therapy for people diagnosed with COVID-19, TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center doctors said "convalescent plasma has a long and successful history in preventing and treating infections". "It is hoped that plasma taken no sooner than 28 days after recovery from Covid-19 will contain a high level of this neutralising antibody".
Before making her convalescent plasma donation, Kahn had to qualify for this no-cost procedure, which only collects plasma from your blood and returns donor's red blood cells to their system. Butler was the first recovered patient to give plasma at the center in an effort to treat ill COVID-19 patients with antibodies produced by those who have recovered.
Manu Shankar-Hari, a critical care consultant at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS foundation trust who is co-leading the trial with experts from NHS Blood and Transplant and the University of Cambridge, said: "As a new disease, there are no proven drugs to treat critically ill patients with Covid-19. I think I'm doing a little bit of good out of all this".
The first donations of the plasma have been collected and transfusions will begin in "the coming weeks", the hospital's Biomedical Research Centre said in a statement.
Recovered COVID-19 patient Paul Butler donates plasma Monday, April 27, 2020, at LifeShare Blood Center in Texarkana, Texas.
Straus hopes other recovered patients will reach out to the Community Blood Center to donate plasma.
The Covid-19 respiratory disease is caused by the coronavirus. "Well-designed clinical trials, like CONCOR, will help provide the necessary information about whether this is a safe and effective treatment option for patients", said Dr. Dana Devine, chief scientist with Canadian Blood Services, in the release.
The UK government is now increasing its plasma-collecting capacity across the UK so it can be rolled out immediately if the trial is successful.
While those therapies are being developed, "there will be a window of opportunity for convalescent plasma to be used".