Research and Technology

06.07.20

First patient receives blood plasma treatment at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS FT

As part of a major ongoing coronavirus clinical trial, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has given its first patient an experimental blood plasma treatment.

The treatment, known as convalescent plasma, is being tested for patients who are severely ill with Covid-19 as part of the national priority trial REMAP-CAP – an international trial, supported by the NIHR, which is testing different potential treatments for the virus.

Convalescent plasma treatments have previously shown to have a positive impact when they were used during the 2002 SARS outbreak to treat a different coronavirus.

As one of England’s top research trusts, Guy’s and St Thomas’ have been playing a leading role in research efforts to identify and safely test Covid-19 treatments and diagnostics in England.

Co-led by Dr Manu Shankar-Hari, a consultant in Intensive Care Medicine at Guy’s and St Thomas’ – who is also an NIHR Clinician Scientist and Reader at King’s College London – the trial is also utilising expertise from colleagues at NHS Blood and Transplant as well as the University of Cambridge.

The patient to first receive the treatment was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital at the end of April with coronavirus symptoms and saw their condition deteriorate significantly enough to require admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where they were approached to take part in the trial.

The patient was discharged from hospital on May 15 and continues to be recovering well at home.

Talking of this milestone for the trial, Dr Shankar-Hari said: “Convalescent plasma is a promising treatment that could help patients whose bodies aren’t producing enough antibodies to curb the disease.

“This trial will help us understand whether the treatment should be used more widely to treat Covid-19.

“We are incredibly grateful to all the patients who are taking part in our Covid-19 trials and to their families. At a difficult time for them, our patients are taking part in studies that will help us to understand more about how to treat the condition.”

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