Coronavirus: recovered men called on to donate blood plasma

Coronavirus: recovered men called on to donate blood plasma
Males who have recovered from the new coronavirus (Covid-19) are called on to donate blood plasma to further research for treatment. Credit: Red Cross Belgium

Red Cross Belgium is calling on males who have recovered from Covid-19 to donate blood plasma to help further research for a treatment.

The goal of the call for donations is to have the collected blood plasma analysed by scientists, who would look for antibodies against the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

"Our appeal is addressed to all confirmed male patients with COVID-19 who have since been cured," the group wrote in an online statement.

"If the treatment proves to be successful and the plasma of recovered [Covid-19] patients has a positive effect, the treatment can be quickly used on a larger scale," Red Cross wrote.

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The humanitarian group, which has been on the frontlines of several countries' response to the coronavirus pandemic, will deliver the collected plasma to hospitals to carry out the research.

A positive result would also pave the way for a preventive treatment, aimed particularly at medical workers or at-risk groups, the statement said.

"If it turns out that care providers can be protected, even if temporarily, this would mean a huge reduction pressure for hospitals, nursing homes, at home nurses."

The call is not open to female donors because of the "risk of unwanted immune responses from antibodies occurring in women who, knowingly or not, went through pregnancy."

Male patients who have tested positive and recovered from Covid-19 are called on to fill a preliminary form to determine their eligibility to the donation scheme.

Red Cross said that treatment with somebody else's antibodies would not substitute a vaccine, which remained an "essential preventative treatment."

"Antibodies from someone else's plasma offer only temporary resistance and cannot replace a vaccine," the organisation said.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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