Hyperimmune plasma is being used to treat Covid patients. | Teresa Ayuga

The Blood Bank in the Balearics (Banc de Sang or Banco de Sangre) is asking people who have overcome coronavirus to donate blood. This would be for transfusion to patients in order to help with antibodies in responding to the virus.

The Blood Bank is involved with an EU-funded project to investigate the treatment of Covid patients with plasma from donors who have had the virus. This is referred to as hyperimmune plasma, and there are currently 244 units of this; 53 have already been distributed to hospitals that are taking part in this treatment programme.

Last year, the Blood Bank notes, there was a 58% increase in donations of plasma by apheresis. This was largely due to the collection of plasma from patients who had had Covid. Apheresis is a method for removing a particular substance or component from the blood before returning the main volume to the body.

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The ideal donor of this type of plasma is a male aged between 18 and 65 who has not had any transfusion in the past. Those wishing to donate can email plasmah@fbstib.org and give a phone number for a doctor to contact them.