blood plasma, blood plasma donor, covid-19

Sanctuary supports NHS call for more blood plasma donors

By Dan Allard

​If you have fully recovered from Covid-19, did you know that your blood plasma could help future patients fight the virus?

If you fought the infection, your blood plasma now contains Covid-19 antibodies. These are produced by the body as a natural defence against Covid-19 and stay within your blood plasma (the golden substance that makes up half of your blood).

By giving your plasma to those whose own immune systems are struggling to cope with the virus, you could help them recover.

Having exclusively handled the recruitment of nurses for the donation centres, we appreciate how important blood plasma treatment is. With 14 new donation centres opening in November and December, blood plasma will be used to treat patients in Covid-19 trials as the number of hospital admissions rises.

You’ll be taken good care of

You can donate blood plasma at one of 42 donation centres in England. You will need to register your intention to become a donor. if eligible, you will be invited to an appointment through the convalescent plasma programme. You might also be asked to give a blood sample first to check that your antibody levels are high enough.

The donation process takes about 45 minutes, and the whole visit (including snacks and health checks) lasts around 1 hour 15 minutes. The technology is fascinating. Donations are given by connecting you up to a plasmapheresis machine that circulates your blood back to you after removing the plasma.

During that time, you’ll be taken good care of by Sanctuary’s highly-qualified nurses and NHS Blood and Transplant Service (NHSBT) support staff.

As you’re having your treatment, your body will quickly replace the antibodies and plasma you donate. This means that you might be able to donate again in the future.

Who can donate?

Anyone (over 17 years old) who is fully recovered from Covid-19 can donate blood plasma, but the donation centres are particularly keen on donations from:

  • Men

  • Anyone over 35 years old

  • People who have been hospitalised with the disease

Those who have been treated in hospital for Covid-19 are particularly encouraged to donate because they produce the most antibodies.

You must, however, wait for at least 28 days after you’ve made a fully recovery before donating, although you can register your interest in advance.

Proud to be playing our role

With more donation centres opening, we couldn’t be prouder of our recruitment of nurses for the NHS Blood and Transplant Service.

Dr Gail Miflin, Chief Medical Officer of NHSBT, sums up the importance of recruiting skilled nurses:

“It is an ambitious project and we’re grateful to Sanctuary for providing such highly skilled nurses to support the initiative. We are holding a lot of new donation sessions, and we know some donors will have been through a very difficult time, so having extra highly trained professionals to support this programme is crucial.”

For nurses wanting to be part of this incredibly important treatment trial, it’s a great opportunity.

If you’re interested in joining one of the donation centre teams, register with Sanctuary Personnel today.