Blood plasma donor appeal as Liverpool enters lockdown

16 October 2020

NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people in Liverpool and Merseyside who’ve had coronavirus during the current lockdown to register as blood plasma donors.

People who’ve had the virus can donate their antibody-rich plasma, which could save the lives of people who are still seriously ill.

The rising number of cases in the region means more and more people could donate and more and more people could benefit from transfusion.

Malcom Shaw donating plasma, wearing a face maskAs of Thursday morning, around 950 donations have been made so far, mostly at the dedicated plasma donor centre on The Estuary business park in Speke.

Around 70 people have received transfusions of plasma at hospitals in Merseyside, The Wirral, and the Liverpool City region, since the treatment began to be used in April.

NHS Blood and Transplant is collecting blood plasma for COVID treatment – known as convalescent plasma – around the country.

The neutralising antibodies in the plasma could stop the virus spreading.

Malcolm Shaw (pictured above) from Meols on The Wirral recently donated for the fifth time. Aged 72, he is the oldest convalescent plasma donor in England.

He said: “I think it’s very important to contribute and I would urge anybody who has had coronavirus to consider giving plasma. You will get a warm welcome from a professional team.”

Mark Murphy from Allerton, aged 59 (pictured below) a logistics manager, has just marked his seventh donation, and said: “I was ill for four or five days then started getting better. To me, donating is a great way to potentially help somebody.”

Mark Murphy donating plasma, with a face mask onAn NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson said: “If you’ve had coronavirus, donation is a way you can help the city in lockdown.

“We urgently need people from Liverpool to donate to help treat patients in the trials and make sure stocks can be made available if the trials are a success.

“We especially need male donors as they generally have higher antibody levels.”

Convalescent plasma is being collected at NHSBT’s 23 donor centres around the country, and several pop-up donor centres. The pop-up donor centre in Speke has been set up in the NHS Blood and Transplant regional base on The Estuary.

Plasma is being collected for use in the RECOVERY and REMAP-CAP trials, and if the trials are successful, general use in hospitals.

Donation takes about 45 minutes. Your body usually replaces the donated plasma and donated antibodies. People can donate plasma as often as every week.