A WOMAN from Widnes has given her blood to a donor centre for an experimental treatment of coronavirus.

After spending two days in hospital with Covid 19 symptoms Nicola Green, 45, gave convalescent plasma to Liverpool Donor Centre last Friday in the hope of tackling the virus.

She said: "It's amazing to feel I am helping because I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I went through or even worse."

From this week between 11 and 14 hospitals will take part in the trial, with many more to follow as the collection programme expands. One thousand units of plasma were donated from recovered patients, with 994 units received by Friday morning.

NHS Blood and Transplant said it is collecting up to 100 units of donated convalescent plasma a day.

A spokesperson said: "It is hoped the treatment, known as convalescent plasma, will help patients whose bodies are not producing sufficient antibodies to fight the virus.

"With each patient receiving two units each, it is hoped the donated plasma could help around 500 people."

The NHS Blood Transplant added that it is now able to collect convalescent plasma at all 23 of its permanent donor centres.

Nearly 200 people have been recruited to collect the plasma, which will also be picked up from temporary donation spaces in six regional operations centres and three new community venues in London.

Professor David Roberts, NHSBT Associate Medical Director for blood donation, said: "We thank everyone who is donating convalescent plasma.

"We know many people who can donate will have been through a difficult experience and we are grateful for their help in reaching this milestone.

"There is still much more to do. We can reassure people that convalescent plasma donation is safe and easy.

"You'll also be taking part in groundbreaking research. If you get the call, please donate."

While transfusions have begun, the effectiveness of plasma treatment will not be known until the trial ends, with results expected in the late summer.

The health service is aiming to be in a position to roll out the treatment widely if it proves successful.