Men must step up and donate their blood plasma to help defeat coronavirus, the NHS has urged, as it is revealed that women make up almost two thirds of donors.

Female patients are far more willing to provide samples and represent 63 per cent of all volunteers (73,369), compared with 37 per cent of male patients (42,809).

However, women’s plasma is less valuable as men are three times more likely to produce a sample with a high quantity of antibodies, according to NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

The health service is now urging men who have had the virus to come forward to donate ahead of a possible second wave in the autumn.

Antibody-rich plasma can be transfused into people who are struggling to develop their own immune response to the virus, potentially saving many lives.

Dr Lise Estcourt, head of NHSBT’s clinical trials unit, said: “We’re not sure yet why there is an imbalance in people coming forward but we do know we need more men to offer to donate. Men have a special role to play in fighting this virus. Men who’ve had coronavirus are more likely to be able to save lives.

“We’re urgently asking men who’ve had confirmed coronavirus or the symptoms to offer to donate and help us be prepared for any second wave of Covid this autumn – you could save lives.”

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