Health Secretary Matt Hancock takes part in coronavirus clinical trial which could treat 5,000 patients a week – The Sun

MATT Hancock has shared a photo of a nurse taking his blood as he takes part in a clinical plasma trial.

The Health Secretary joined a study to see if those who have recovered from coronavirus could help 5,000 patients a week suffering with the virus.

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It involves using "convalescent plasma" transfused into people struggling to beat the disease and produce their own antibodies.

This follows on from a treatment used during the SARS outbreak and was given the go-ahead from the Government this week.

Mr Hancock posted: "The hugely important clinical trial will help our NHS treat #coronavirus patients using plasma.

"If you're asked, please take part. It's painless."

He added: "The UK has world-leading life sciences and research sectors and I have every hope this treatment will be a major milestone in our fight against this disease.

"Hundreds of people are participating in national trials already for potential treatments and the scaling up of convalescent plasma collection means thousands could potentially benefit from it in the future."

NHS Blood and Transplant will contact those who have recovered from confirmed Covid-19 and could be a donor.

Blood is taken from an arm, circulated through a machine to separate the plasma and returned to the donor.

The 45-minute process produces two units of plasma, which can be frozen and stored for future use.

Dr Gail Miflin, from NHSBT, said: “We are rapidly building our capability to collect plasma so we can quickly move into supplying hospitals at scale, should the trial show patient benefit.”

Prof Jonathan Van Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, added that the UK already had more than 7,000 people involved testing a range of medicines to tackle Covid-19.

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