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Who can donate plasma?


We are urgently appealing for people who have had coronavirus to donate plasma.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or its antibodies, or had symptoms of the virus, you may be able to donate plasma to help treat coronavirus patients.

Not everyone will be able to donate. The information on this page will help you to decide whether or not to volunteer as a donor.

Who do we need?

 

1. People who have had COVID-19 - either confirmed by virus test or antibody test. We also need people who have had symptoms only.

2. People with the right blood volume - this is based on your height and weight. We will contact you about this.

3. Donors aged over 17 in good health - you need to have recovered from the virus and meet our health and travel eligibility requirements. More about this below.

Did you know?

Donors with high antibody levels could save several lives.

If your antibodies are high we may ask you to donate every 2 weeks in order to save enough plasma for a second wave of the virus.

High antibodies

We can see that the highest antibody donations are coming from donors who are:

  • Male - men typically have higher antibody levels than women
  • Over 35 - a greater percentage of the plasma from this age group is suitable for clinical trials
  • Severely affected by COVID-19 - the highest antibody plasma has come from donors who were hospitalised
  • Asian - high numbers of donors from Asian communities have plasma suitable for treating others

Get involved

If you have read the information on this page and would like to volunteer to give convalescent plasma, please complete this form.

Could you be a plasma donor?

 

We need people who have had COVID-19 

Plasma donor recovers after donating
Dr Zahid Safraz donated after recovering from COVID-19

The plasma we collect needs to have high levels of antibodies to be suitable for use as a treatment.

Tests on the plasma donated so far have shown that men and women who were very ill with coronavirus are likely to have the highest antibody levels. This is why we are asking for people to come forward if they have had a confirmed virus or antibody test.

Tests also show that men are much more likely to have high antibody levels than women, even if they have only had symptoms of the illness. This is why we are prioritising men for donation.

People with symptoms will be invited to give a blood sample to see if their antibody levels are high enough to become a convalescent plasma donor. 

We need people with the right blood volume

 

Your blood volume depends on your height and weight.

We need to make sure that you have enough blood volume to safely give plasma.

Before we ask to you to donate, we will contact you to find out if your height and weight will allow you to be a convalescent plasma donor.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone

Adam holds a bag of his plasma

Adam Drew, 25, from Chessington

We need donors aged over 17 in good health

 

To volunteer as a plasma donor you must:

  • be fit and healthy
  • be aged 17 or over
  • have a large enough blood volume (calculated by height and weight before we invite you to donate)

If you do volunteer as a donor, we will prioritise the people most likely to have high antibody plasma and get in contact to ask you more questions. 

There are a number of health, lifestyle and travel factors that can mean you are not able to give plasma. You may not be able to donate if you:

  • are receiving certain medical or hospital treatments
  • are taking certain medications
  • have recently travelled to specific destinations outside of the UK
  • have recently had a tattoo or piercing
  • feel unwell on the day of donation
  • have cancer
  • know that any of the following safety criteria apply to you

Additional blood plasma safety checks

We must make sure it is safe for people to give plasma and for people to receive donated plasma. Click each section to see the plasma safety information.  

Get involved

If you have read the information on this page and would like to volunteer to give convalescent plasma, please complete this form.



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