NHS Blood and Transplant has opened the doors of its new plasma donation centre in County Square Shopping Centre on Elwick Road in Ashford and has issued an urgent call to anyone who has had COVID-19 to register as a donor.

HOW TO DONATE

About the Plasma Donation Centre

Plasma collected at the centre will be used in clinical trials to determine whether the antibody-rich blood plasma found in people who've 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.

This plasma centre makes five in the South East, the other centres are already open in Arundel, Oxford, Southampton and Reading. Around 850 people have already received transfusions at hospitals in the region as part of the trials.

Donations are urgently needed so that if the trials confirm patient benefit, plasma can be made readily available for general use in the NHS. You can register online by searching 'donate plasma'.

Anyone over 17 who has had COVID-19 can offer to donate blood plasma donor. Donating is easy - it takes just 45 minutes and the whole appointment, including time for snacks, lasts approximately 1 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.

How to Donate

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

The Plasma Centre is located on the Lower Oval at the bottom of the escalators.

It can be reached by parking in either the blue or green NCP car park and walking through to the Lower Oval or by entering via the Tufton Street entrance, just off of Bank Street.

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