A DOCTOR who caught the coronavirus and recovered has donated his antibody-rich, Covid-fighting blood 10 times – and now he is calling on others to do the same.

Dr Wassim Shamsuddin, an anaesthetist from Bicester, made his tenth donation of ‘convalescent blood plasma’ last week at Oxford donor centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

He is urging others who have recovered to join him and be part of a trial by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHBT).

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Plasma from people who have had the virus can be transfused into patients who are still unwell and struggling to develop their own immune response.

NHSBT is urgently asking for more men, and in particular those with black or Asian backgrounds, to come forward as they are more likely to have the antibody-rich convalescent plasma that is needed.

Just over a third of first time donors from an Asian background were able to give high levels of antibodies for the trial.

People in this group who needed hospital treatment are also likely to have high antibody levels.

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Dr Shamsuddin said: “I first donated in June when the appeal first went out for more male donors and have been returning regularly over the last few months.

“Like all of us, I have seen how the virus has disproportionately affected the BAME group. Working in ICU, I have seen the effects this virus has had on individuals including those fighting for their lives.

“Knowing that people have lost their lives to the virus and seeing this for myself, if plasma could be the difference between life or death, I’m glad that I have been able to play my part in helping others.”

The 40-year-old, who works at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, added: “I would urge anyone who has had Covid to get in touch with your local donor centre. It doesn’t take long and you are really well looked after by the amazing staff. I look forward to seeing them each time I visit.

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“This important trial is asking for more people to donate, and men in particular from Asian backgrounds to come forward as we have a greater chance of having high antibody levels, which means we can potentially donate many times.

“Our donations could save lives, and you could play a part in that.”

Anyone aged 18 or over who has had Covid-19 can offer to donate blood plasma. It takes just 45 minutes to donate and the whole appointment lasts just over an hour.

Convalescent plasma is being collected at 23 donor centres around the country, as well as in pop-up donor centres.

Plasma is being collected and stored at a large scale so if the trials show a benefit to patients, there are significant stocks ready for immediate use at hospitals in Oxford and around the country during the second wave.

Anyone who has had confirmed coronavirus or the symptoms, can volunteer to donate plasma nhsbt.nhs.uk or search online for ‘donate plasma’.