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UK hospital to trial coronavirus treatment

A UK hospital plans on testing a potential way of treating coronavirus by using plasma from recovere..

By admin , in Health , at April 17, 2020

A UK hospital plans on testing a potential way of treating coronavirus by using plasma from recovered patients.

Welsh health authorities are set to collect blood donations from people who have beaten Covid-19 and give them to doctors who can test the therapy in clinical trials.

“We are very much looking forward to the first use of this treatment in patients at UHW (University Hospital of Wales),” Stuart Walker, the executive medical director for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said.

“This offers a genuine therapeutic option for this potentially fatal condition,” he added.

The hospital plans on carrying out trials “in the near future”, a Cardiff and Vale University Health Board spokesperson told The Independent.

The therapy works by transfusing plasma from recovered patients – which contains antibodies against the virus – into people with Covid-19 to help them fight the infection, the Welsh government said.

Public Health Wales will write to eligible donors making them aware of the programme, which aims to “capture the benefit of plasma transfusions to improve Covid-19 patients speed of recovery and survival”, the government said.

“At the moment there are no other treatments per se for the viral infection itself, so this does give us a glimmer of hope,” Dr Walker told the BBC.

The Welsh government said the country was “playing a leading role” in a UK-wide programme to test this potential form of coronavirus treatment.

NHS Blood and Transplant have called for people who have recovered from coronavirus to donate plasma at sites across England “as part of a potential clinical trial to help with the national effort against the virus”.

“The trial, if approved, will tell us how effective convalescent plasma (plasma from people who have had coronavirus) is for treating coronavirus patients,” the heath authority said.

Meanwhile, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service is “making preparations to collect convalescent plasma”, a spokesperson told The Independent this week.

Trials of the use of convalescent plasma in Covid-19 patients are taking place over the world, including in Germany, France and the US.

A small study in China recently found a single dose of antibodies drawn from the blood of Covid-19 survivors may have improved the symptoms of 10 patients severely ill with the disease.

Doctors have urged the UK government to approve trials into the new form of treatment, as the country continues to battles its Covid-19 outbreak.

More than 103,000 people have been infected with coronavirus – a flu-like disease that can develop into pneumonia – in the country, according to healthy ministry figures.

The death toll stood at around 13,700 on Thursday.