Call for COVID-19 men to donate plasma

The NHS Blood and Transplant Service is calling for men who have recovered from COVID-19 infection to donate plasma for use in clinical trials.

Men are needed because their plasma is particularly rich in antibodies. Of donations received so far from men, 43% had high enough levels of antibodies to be used in trials, compared with just 29% of those from women.

It is important that donors have fully recovered from COVID-19, and that their body has had time to develop a good antibody response. The service is currently collecting plasma no sooner than 28 days after recovery and can only accept donations from people who are able to visit one of their main donor centres.

Two national trials are underway. The REMAP-CAP trial is an international study looking at convalescent plasma treatment for people who have been in intensive care for less than 48 hours and have tested positive for COVID-19. They will have two transfusions over two days and will monitored for 21 days to see how effective this is.

The RECOVERY trial is looking at the effectiveness of convalescent plasma for treating patients with COVID-19 who are in hospital, but not in intensive care.

Professor David Roberts, Associate Director for blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, says: ‘More plasma donors are needed for these trials and we would like to hear from anybody who has had coronavirus or the symptoms, but we would especially like to hear from men.’

Details of how people can register for plasma donation can be found on the NHS Blood and Transpant website (https://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/how-you-can-help/convalescent-plasma-clinical-trial/). 

Web design and marketing agency Leamington Spa