The NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) have appealed to people from Asian communities who recovered from COVID-19 to donate convalescent plasma.

Donations will be used for a major trial coronavirus treatment. If successful, the trial will become widely used in hospitals.

The analysis of 592 donations shows that people from the Asian community who recovered from COVID-19 develop a rich anti-body convalescent plasma.

Antibody testing between April and May showed that Asian convalescent plasma donors had nearly twice as many antibody levels compared to white donors.

NHSBT centres across the country are asking people who have recovered from coronavirus to donate convalescent plasma. There are centres in Birmingham, Leeds, London, Manchester and Luton, including further pop-up centres.

Antibody-rich plasma can be transfused from those who have recovered from COVID-19 to help people with the virus to build their own immune system.

Rajeev Verma, from Wolverhampton, had the highest antibody levels of any Asian donor so far. The 52-year-old healthcare facilities manager was in hospital with breathing difficulties after contracting coronavirus.

He said: “COVID 19 is very dangerous and it can attack anyone regardless of colour or creed.  There are so many symptoms that you have to endure and fight against.

“Donating plasma was a new and pleasant experience, the nurses were very supporting and reassuring and the process took around 35mins. If I can help in the research and save someone’s life with my donation, I would do it with great pleasure. It is better to give than to receive.

“I find that some people from the Asian community take a step back when you say you have had coronavirus. I am very open. I think there needs to be more awareness. I would very much support people talking more and feeling able to donate.”

Prof Dave Roberts, NHS Blood and Transplant Associate Medical Director for Blood Donation, said: “These are early results from a relatively small number of donors but the results are statistically significant. Our donors so far from Asian backgrounds were more likely to have the plasma which could save lives than white donors.

“We are not yet sure why this is the case. The indications from our work so far, and past studies is that the more seriously ill people become, the more antibodies they made. A Public Health England report suggested people from Asian communities who have COVID-19 have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill.

“We can reassure people that convalescent donation is safe and easy. Your body quickly replaces the antibodies you donate. By donating convalescent plasma, you could save lives.”

People willing to donate can contact NHSBT by phone on 0300 123 23 23 or can use their website to book an appointment.