Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital patient first in the UK to receive convalescent plasma through COVID-19 treatment trial

A patient at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH), part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), was the first in the UK to receive a convalescent plasma transfusion through the RECOVERY COVID-19 research study.

The Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY (RECOVERY) trial is a national platform trial testing existing treatments that may help people hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Convalescent plasma is the antibody rich plasma of people who have recovered from COVID-19. This can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response.

Although there is some promising evidence of patient benefit, its effectiveness needs to be tested through robust clinical trials before it can be provided for general use. The inclusion of convalescent plasma in the RECOVERY trial means that many more people will now start to receive convalescent plasma, which is being collected by NHS Blood and Transplant.

RECOVERY is open to patients of any age admitted to hospitals with COVID-19. Selected hospitals are currently able to randomise patients to receive convalescent plasma and this will expand out to all hospitals participating in the RECOVERY trial.

Dr Clare Murray, Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician, is the MFT study lead at RMCH, as well as Asthma Programme Associate Lead for the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). She said: “RMCH is known around the world for its cutting-edge, paediatric clinical research. To be the first hospital in the UK to transfuse a patient in the convalescent plasma arm of the RECOVERY trial is a testament to the expertise and experience of our staff, and the patient care delivered daily.

“I want to thank our patient recruited to this trial, and every person participating in COVID-19 research at MFT, helping to increase our understanding of this disease and the development of potential treatments.”

The patient was a child (aged under 18) and in addition to being the first patient of any age transfused with COVID-19 convalescent plasma through RECOVERY, they are also the first child to receive COVID-19 convalescent plasma through the NHBST plasma programme.

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