News World UK to start trials on whether plasma could help COVID-19 patients

UK to start trials on whether plasma could help COVID-19 patients

Britain is to start trials to see whether plasma collected from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 could be an effective treatment for patients who are severely unwell with the disease.

Up to 5,000 severely ill patients with COVID-19 could soon be treated each week with plasma as part of a new approach to treating the virus, the health department said on Saturday.

Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can be transfused to patients who are struggling to produce their own antibodies against the virus.

So-called convalescent plasma was used as an effective treatment during the 2002 to 2004 SARS outbreak, the health department said.

In parallel with the national randomised clinical trial, the government is scaling up the national programme for collecting plasma so the treatment can be widely rolled out if it is shown to be effective, the department said.

The collection of plasma would be ramped up over April and May to deliver up to 10,000 units of plasma to the National Health Service (NHS) every week, enough to treat 5,000 COVID-19 patients per week.

“I have every hope this treatment will be a major milestone in our fight against this disease,” said health minister Matt Hancock.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer said: “The UK is leading the world’s largest trials to find a treatment for COVID-19, with over 7,000 people so far involved testing a range of medicines; we hope to add convalescent plasma to this list shortly.”

He added:“Convalescent plasma has been used as an effective treatment for emerging infections in the past, and this step forward underpins our science-backed approach to fighting this virus.”

The NHS will contact people in England who have recovered from COVID-19 and could be possible donors.

Blood is taken from one arm and circulated through a machine that separates out the plasma, and then returned to the donor. The process takes about 45 minutes and provides two units of plasma per donation, which can also be frozen and stored ahead for any future need.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

EU’s Borrell in Cyprus for talks on upcoming informal summit on divided island

Visiting EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell is meeting Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades around 10 am on Friday. Their talks...

UK’s Boohoo urged to link fashion bosses’ bonuses to improved worker rights

Fashion brand Boohoo should link bosses' hefty bonuses to improved workers' rights instead of simply chasing growth, British lawmakers said on Friday, following reports...

Pope Francis travels to Iraq

Pope Francis waves as he boards the plane for his visit to Iraq, at Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy.

U.S., UK suspend tariffs in bid to settle aircraft row

The United States have agreed to a four-month suspension of retaliatory tariffs imposed on British goods such as Scotch whisky over a long-running aircraft...

Cyprus to let in Brits with COVID vaccine from May 1

Cyprus will allow British tourists who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 into the country without restrictions from May 1, its tourism minister has said. British...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...