What It's Like To Receive Blood Plasma To Treat Covid-19

Natasha Hinde
·2-min read
John Curtis
John Curtis

A taxi driver from Romford, Essex, has spoken about his experience of receiving blood plasma after contracting Covid-19.

John Curtis, 58, came down with the virus not long after lockdown. He’d gone back to work, but developed a dry cough shortly after. Initially, he put it down to the air conditioning in his car but it worsened, so he went to a drive-through Covid-19 testing facility and his results came back positive.

“The next day I woke up and felt like I’d run a marathon up and down the stairs,” he says. “I phoned 111 and had to break off from talking to get my breath. They sent an ambulance and I was taken into the Queen’s Hospital in Romford.

“I felt frustrated I hadn’t got things sorted properly for my kids. I felt like I could walk out alive or get carried out.”


On the ward, Curtis was told he could join a trial to try one of three different treatments – one of which was convalescent plasma.

This type of treatment involves plasma being collected from donors who have recovered from Covid-19, via their blood. The plasma contains antibodies that help the body fight against the virus.

When the antibody-rich plasma is transfused into newly-infected patients, it’s thought it gives their immune systems a fighting chance in staving off the worst repercussions of infection.

“I said I will take part in anything to try and combat this thing,” says Curtis. “I had to sign a form and they came around with the plasma.

“It was like a bag of orange fluid, about half a litre. I had one unit a day for two days. It went through me in about half an hour.”


Did it work?

The father-of-two is still...

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