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Coronavirus: Medical Treatments

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th May 2020.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using therapeutic plasma in the treatment of patients with covid-19.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Holding answer received on 06 May 2020

On 25 April, the Department announced that the clinical trial REMAP-CAP was given approval to determine as part of a trial, if plasma donated by patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can help those with the virus. NHS Blood and Transplant has started to collect convalescent plasma to supply to REMAP-CAP and the first transfusion took place last week.

In parallel with the trial, NHS Blood and Transplant is scaling up a national programme for collecting plasma so the treatment can be widely rolled out if it is shown to be effective. The collection of plasma will be ramped up by mid-May to deliver up to 10,000 units of plasma to the National Health Service every week, enough to treat 5,000 COVID-19 patients per week.

Convalescent plasma has been used as an effective treatment for emerging infections in the past, and this step forward underpins the Department’s scientific approach to fighting this virus.

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