LONDON: The NHS is now urgently asking Asian people who have had coronavirus to offer to donate convalescent plasma. Asian people are far more likely to have the antibody rich plasma which could save the lives of people with coronavirus.
People from South Asian backgrounds have been badly affected by coronavirus and plasma could be a lifesaving treatment.
Donations are urgently needed now, ahead of any second wave during the autumn.
Asian people have been donating in strong numbers. Around 7% of all plasma donors so far have been from the Asian community. (1)
They have also higher antibody levels. Asian donors are around twice as likely to have high enough antibodies for their donations to be used in the trial, compared to white people. (2)
Rekha Anand, Consultant Haematologist for NHSBT, said: “We have had a fantastic response from the Asian community. COVID-19 is attacking the Asian community more than the wider community and donating plasma could save a life.”
Dr Suhail Asghar, from NHSBT’s Clinical Support Team, said: “Some people may feel nervous about donating, particularly if they’ve had a tough time with coronavirus. Our donation team will look after you and people usually feel fantastic after donating, knowing they are doing something to help the community.”
Dr Naim Akhtar, a Consultant in Donor Medicine for NHSBT, said: “Plasma donation is a way to help those who are in need. By donating plasma, you could help someone to survive from COVID and spend more time with their family.”
Dr Shruthi Narayan, a Consultant Donor Medicine for NHSBT said: “Plasma donation is safe, clean and easy. It takes about 45 minutes and your body quickly replaces the plasma and the antibodies. Because your red blood cells are returned to you, you can carry on with your day as normal.”
There are plasma donor centres in cities and towns around the country with significant Asian communities, including Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridge, Edgware, Gloucester, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Stratford, Bexleyheath, Twickenham, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Poole, Sheffield, Southampton, Stoke, Tooting, and London’s West End.
Volunteer to donate plasma at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk or search ‘donate plasma’