New plasma donation centre opens in Wolverhampton to help fight against Covid-19

A new plasma donation centre has opened in Wolverhampton city centre – as health bosses issue an urgent call to anyone who has had Covid-19 to register as a donor.

Carillion House in Wolverhampton city centre
Carillion House in Wolverhampton city centre

The new NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) donation centre is now open at Carillion House, in Salop Street.

Plasma collected at the centre will be used in clinical trials to determine whether the antibody-rich blood plasma found in people who have had coronavirus – known as convalescent plasma – could be an effective treatment for Covid-19.

The plasma is transfused into patients who are struggling to develop their own immune response. The antibodies could slow or stop the virus spreading, which could save lives.

Around 35 people are already booked in to donate at the centre.

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Donations are urgently needed so that if the trials confirm patient benefit, plasma can be made readily available for general use in the NHS.

Donor centre manager Lynne Savage said: “We would love to see people in Wolverhampton offering to donate so we can book them into donation appointments now. Donation is safe and easy, and you could save lives. Your body quickly replaces the antibodies afterwards.”

Darren Buttrick, from Staffordshire, who has now donated 14 times since being seriously ill with Covid-19 said: “I was very keen to donate when I heard it could be useful. It’s such a small, very easy thing to do but must be a huge thing to receive.

"If my donations can help someone avoid intensive care, it’s time well spent and the feeling of giving back to help others is like no other.

“I have been attending the Birmingham Donor centre since the trials began in April but having access to the new centre in Wolverhampton makes donating more local to home and more accessible.”

Anyone over 17 who has had Covid-19 can offer to donate blood plasma donor. Donating is easy – it takes 45 minutes and the whole appointment, including time for snacks, lasts approximately one hour and 15 minutes.

NHSBT especially needs more male and BAME donors to come forward as their plasma is more likely to contain the higher levels of antibodies required. People who needed hospital treatment are especially likely to have high antibody levels.

If you’ve had confirmed coronavirus or the symptoms, you can volunteer today to donate plasma at nhsbt.nhs.uk or simply search online for ‘donate plasma’.

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