AN URGENT appeal is being made for people in Oxfordshire who have recovered from coronavirus to donate blood plasma.

NHS Blood and Transplant has said it is 'critical' to make sure there is enough of the antibody-containing plasma to enable a trial of its ability to save lives.

More than 650 donations of Covid-19 convalescent plasma have already been taken at the Oxford donor centre.

Such plasma may contain antibodies someone's immune system has produced in fighting the virus which can be transfused to patients whose immune systems are struggling to develop their own.

Professor Dave Roberts, associate director for blood donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Every new offer to donate is incredibly valuable. We particularly need men to come forwards as they generally have higher antibody levels.

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"We need to collect convalescent plasma now, to make sure plasma is readily available for the trial to treat people currently in hospital.

"Donations can also be frozen to ensure convalescent plasma is readily available, should there be a rise in infections in the coming weeks."

Potential donors are being prioritised according to who is likely to have higher antibody levels.

Some people will be asked to make a short visit first to give a blood sample, to confirm their antibody levels are high enough for the trial.

Donation takes about 45 minutes.

Find out more about the plasma trial and how to donate here.