Convalescent Plasma Trial7th October 2020
The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service (NIBTS) will soon be starting to collect plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19 to support clinical research trials being conducted in Northern Ireland.
NIBTS will be collecting blood from people who have tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19 once they have recovered and at least 28 days have passed since their symptoms have disappeared.
When someone recovers from Covid-19, they develop antibodies to fight the virus that causes the illness – SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies can be found in the recovered person’s plasma and should make them immune to future infections of this virus for a period of time.
Recent reports suggest that some patients who are ill with Covid-19 may benefit from a transfusion of plasma manufactured from blood given by eligible donors who have recovered from Covid-19. However, further work and research needs to be carried out to find out how effective this would be.
At this time, people who think that they have had Covid-19 but have not been tested cannot donate for this purpose as we currently have no way to confirm their infection. If that changes, we will update this advice.
Existing blood donors who have recovered can donate as normal once well.
The wellbeing of our donors, recipients and staff is our main priority and we recognise that not everyone who recovers from Covid-19 will be able to donate. Our standard donor eligibility criteria apply to make sure that giving blood is safe for both the donor and patient.
During the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have taken great care to minimise any risk to donors and staff and have introduced measures that follow all guidance to maintain a safe blood supply.
You’ll find full FAQs about the trial on the website here.