Coronavirus: UK doctors ‘Optimistic’ in the use of blood plasma from Covid-19 survivors as a possible treatment for critically ill patients

Doctors in the UK are trialling the use of blood plasma from coronavirus survivors as a potential treatment for patients seriously ill with Covid-19.

IT is hoped antibodies built up by the recovered person can be transferred to others to help them defeat the virus. The transfusion would, theoretically, boost the new patient’s struggling immune system by providing plasma rich in the antibodies needed to fight the virus.

Dr Manu Shankar-Hari, a critical care consultant at London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital where the trials are being run, said: “What we are doing is to give you instantaneous protection against the virus using an antibody that is developed by patients who recover from the virus.

“So, the hope is that the viral clearance or the taking away of the virus in the body will be quicker by giving this treatment.”

Talking about the trials, health secretary Matt Hancock said thousands of patients could potentially benefit. “The UK has world-leading life sciences and research sectors and I have every hope this treatment will be a major milestone in our fight against this disease,” he said.

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Tony Winterburn

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