Research is underway to assess whether donated recovering plasma can be transfused to patients who have difficulty developing their own immune response.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), which collects the plasma for the test, said people who were treated in hospital for COVID-19[feminine[feminine produce the most antibodies, making them priority plasma donors.
Plasma from former patients is rich in antibodies that develop as a person recovers from illness.
It is then transfused to people with severe COVID-19[feminine[feminine and struggling to develop their own antibodies.
Being treated with convalescent plasma could become widespread practice in hospitals if the trial is successful.
More than three-quarters of COVID-19 patients had enough antibodies for their donation to be used in the national trial.
Only 30% of coronavirus patients who did not need hospital treatment had sufficiently high antibody levels.
Anyone who has had COVID-19 is urged to come forward and donate, including men who showed symptoms but not tested.
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To date, more than 13,000 donations have been collected, including more than 800 from former patients of the COVID-19 hospital.
Dr Lise Estcourt, head of the NHSBT’s clinical trials unit, said: ‘These numbers demonstrate how important it is for people hospitalized with coronavirus to donate – they are more likely to be able to save their lives other seriously ill people.
“These donors have higher antibody levels because, while initially your immune system will try to fight off a virus with white blood cells, if you get sicker your immune system has to make more antibodies that neutralize or kill the virus. ”
People who have had coronavirus are encouraged to donate by calling or 0300 123 23 23 or visiting the website www.nhsbt.nhs.uk.