Recovered Doctor Donates Plasma To Save Lives Of Other Corona Patients

Dr. Ofer Rak, a specialist in orthopedic surgery, recovered from the corona virus about  two weeks ago, after contracting it during a vacation in Italy.

When Magen David Adom’s Blood Services contacted him to donate a plasma (the blood component that contains the antibodies to the virus) to help cure coronary patients in moderate and severe condition, Dr. Rak happily responded.

“It’s a simple process,” explained MDA Deputy Director General of Blood Services Prof. Eilat Shinar, “taking blood from a donor that has recovered from the virus, the blood enters the machine that separates the plasma component and transfers it to a special bag, with all other blood components returned to the body.’

“The goal is to collect a volume of about 600 ml, and the process takes a total of about 40 minutes. Magen David Adom’s apheresis unit (blood separation for its components) has been operating for many years.’

“This procedure is very important and can benefit Corona patients, especially in situations where there are no other treatment options available,” said Dr. Ofer Rak, who donated plasma. “The process is very, very simple. It doesn’t hurt and you don’t feel anything.”

Temporary Workers & Volunteers Needed Immediately!

Due to unprecedented demands caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) wants to recruit 1,000 temporary workers and volunteers urgently.

Dorothy Hosein, EEAST Chief Executive said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the NHS and the East of England Ambulance Service more than ever before.’

“We are at the forefront of responding to the pandemic and helping our communities through this difficult time. ‘

“We are expanding our temporary worker and volunteer service hugely to meet this demand and have a wide variety of clinical and non-clinical roles available. ‘

“If you are able to join us and be part of our vital work, then please contact us.”

EEAST are looking for people with:

  • Medical experience as a paramedic, nurse, healthcare support worker or even recent first-aid training to work in a variety of clinical and clinical support roles
  • C1 driving licences who would be interested in driving patient transport vehicles or moving vehicles between sites (band 2 or 3).
  • Five GCSEs at grades A-C to work as call handlers/dispatchers (band 3)
  • willingness to fulfil other support roles such as ambulance cleaning, general cleaning, and administration (bands 2-4).

Roles are available across the region immediately and all training will be provided.

For paid work, please email outlining the type of role you’re interested in and relevant experience and qualifications.

For volunteer roles, please email

Overwhelming Response To Call For Support

More than 1,500 members of the public stepped forward in just 24 hours to respond to a call for volunteers and temporary roles with the Welsh Ambulance Service as it manages its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Individuals from across Wales, including past and retired staff, have registered their interest in a variety of roles across the service following an appeal by the Trust last week.

Applications are now closed and the sifting process has begun.

Claire Vaughan, the Trust’s Executive Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, said: “We are absolutely delighted by the response we received to our online appeal.

“This fantastic response will help us to boost capacity within our workforce during this most challenging of times.’

“Our workforce team is working really hard to sift the applications, skill-matching, seeking relevant checks and pairing them geographically to our needs – and so we ask for everyone’s patience now as this work is done.’

“We sincerely thank everyone who put themselves forward in this most testing of times, and will seek to contact them soon with an update in response to their kind offer.”

Approximately 8,000 People Sampled In One Day By MDA: 4,000 Via “Drive Thru” Testing

Many thousands of corona virus samples were performed by MDA teams across the country on Tuesday.

Alongside the ongoing testing at homes, about 4,000 people arrived at Magen David Adom’s and the Ministry of Health’s complexes.

It is estimated that by midnight, the number of samplers across the country will reach about 8,000 in total.

At the “Drive Throu” complex in Tel Aviv, which will be open throughout the night, 1,200 people were sampled to this time, in Jerusalem 791, in Haifa 822, and in Be’er Sheba, samples were taken today from 567 people in total.

At the same time, Magen David Adom’s and the Ministry of Health’s mobile complexes, which reached Bnei Brak, sampled 250 people, with the complex continuing to operate until midnight, and tomorrow throughout the day. 

In the mobile complex that reached Tamra, 261 people were sampled, and in the mobile complex that reached Modi’in, dozens of people were sampled by this time, and more are expected to arrive in the coming hours.

MDA emphasizes that anyone who has symptoms, and is able to arrive in his own in a private vehicle to be tested at the “Drive Throu” complex, is asked to do so after receiving MDA approval, to allow MDA teams to reach the homes of people unable to reach the complexes as quickly as possible.

MDA Director General, Eli Bin: “Thousands of corona tests are performed every day across the country, with more and more citizens sampling at Magen David Adom’s “Drive Throu” complexes.’

“This allows for an increase in the number of tests performed in Israel, I call anyone who has symptoms during the isolation to contact 101 Hotline, and make an appointment to take a sample in the area close to his home.’

“MDA EMTs and paramedics also continue to take samples in the homes of citizens who are unable to reach the “Drive Throu” complexes on their own.”

Welsh Ambulance Service’s Plea For Public’s Honesty During Covid-19 Outbreak

The Welsh Ambulance Service is urging the public to be honest about the nature of their illness when calling 111 or 999 for help.

It has become apparent that some members of the public have been withholding information about their illness during the Covid-19 outbreak for fear of not being sent an ambulance, according to feedback from Trust staff.

This means crews have been attending some incidents without the necessary protective equipment, exposing them to potential harm.

The service is asking the public to be open and transparent about the nature of their call and their symptoms so it can signpost patients to the most appropriate care and safeguard its crews from contracting the virus.

In a video message to the public shared on social media, Lee Brooks, the Trust’s Director of Operations, said: “Right across our organisation, staff are working tirelessly to ensure we can continue to provide you the best possible care as we respond to Covid-19.’

“This is unchartered territory for our generation but our plans continue to develop as we work with our partners to ensure that we deliver care as safely and effectively as possible.’

“I have a plea for the wider public at this time. Our teams operating in your community are reporting that they arrive at the scene of an incident, possibly at your home, to discover that callers have withheld information about their symptoms.’

“Some of you have told us that you were concerned that, had you been honest, an ambulance would not have been sent. We understand your concerns but I want to make a couple of things clear.’

Firstly, we will always send an ambulance where it is warranted, but this means relying on what our call handlers are told at the point that you call us.’

“If you don’t give us accurate information, you risk the welfare of the people whose job it is to care for us all.’

“This is incredibly unfair on our staff, as it means that their right to enter your home prepared has been removed. Personal protective equipment is worn by our staff to protect them from contracting the disease.’

“I must ask everyone who calls either 111 or 999 to be honest with us about what’s wrong with you and allow us to signpost you to the right care. 

“These are difficult times for us all, but please don’t put our staff in harm’s way when they just don’t need to be.”

Lee added:  “Please heed the official advice from government and Stay At Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.”

London Ambulance Service & London Fire Brigade Announce Blue Light Partnership To Tackle Covid-19

London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade have announced a new partnership to boost the Covid-19 emergency response which will see firefighters helping with a number of roles across the ambulance service.

Under the new agreement, up to 300 staff from London Fire Brigade (LFB) could drive ambulances and assist paramedics as directed.

The new plan, announced today Wednesday 1 April, follows a national agreement last week between the National Employers, National Fire Chiefs Council and the Fire Brigades Union to support local authorities and the NHS, including ambulance services.

Garrett Emmerson, CEO,

Chief executive of London Ambulance Service, Garrett Emmerson said: “We have a fantastic ongoing relationship with London Fire Brigade and regularly collaborate closely in a number of ways — whether that be co-responding to road traffic collisions and house fires, or our medics training fire crews to administer CPR and a use a defibrillator if they are first on scene at a cardiac arrest.’

“This new agreement with LFB comes at a time when we and the rest of the NHS are facing the biggest public health challenge in our history.’

“We are already dealing with unprecedented levels of demand as a result of Covid-19 — more than 11,000 people are calling 999 for an ambulance every day — and we know the peak of the pandemic is still to come.’

“As part of our preparations we must reach out to all our partners to help boost our response so we can continue to treat every patient who needs us during this difficult time.”

Andy Roe, Commissioner,
London Fire Brigade

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Andy Roe said: “We are committed to doing all we can to support a joint emergency response in the capital to Covid-19.’

“Within hours of us agreeing the detail of how we can support London Ambulance Service and NHS partners, we had hundreds of firefighters step forward to volunteer.’

“We’ve changed our operations to reduce non-critical training and some of the community safety work that we can’t do at this time, in order to maintain our operational resilience and provide support such as this for however long the situation lasts.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “It’s great that our city’s firefighters have volunteered to take on additional critical roles during this crisis by supporting London Ambulance Service.’

“Their commitment to keeping Londoners safe on top of their usual jobs builds on the remarkable community spirit we are seeing across the capital.’

“I want to thank the London Ambulance Service for working night and day during this public health crisis to respond to the unprecedented demand they are seeing.’

“I’m so proud of the way Londoners are working together to ensure we are well placed to respond to the unprecedented challenges we face in the coming weeks and help save lives.”

London Ambulance Service will have hundreds of firefighters working alongside our frontline workers.

This will ramp up capacity fast to provide a massive increase in our ability to respond quickly to Londoners in need as demand further escalates across the capital.

As a fellow blue light service, the London Fire Brigade is perfectly poised to support us in getting Londoners the help they need quickly during these unprecedented times.

Having been previously trained by London Ambulance Service clinicians in basic life-saving skills, and qualified to drive emergency vehicles on blue lights, each London firefighter who has volunteered to help us will be trained and ready to support our skilled paramedics on the road in a day.

Patient-Administered Pain-Killer Saves Time & Resources In Emergency Departments

Inhaled Analgesic Increases Speed Of Discharge Time Per Patient By 71 Minutes On Average Compared To Conventional Therapy

A recent study has revealed that Penthrox▼(methoxyflurane) can save more than one hour per procedure in hospital emergency departments on average — allowing more patients to be seen and potentially saving money for the NHS.1

Penthrox has been widely used in Australia and New Zealand for many years. However, it is used in fewer than half of UK emergency departments, mainly due to unfamiliarity with the treatment amongst staff.

Now researchers from St Mary’s Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, have found that the non-opioid medicine, which is self-administered under the supervision of a person trained in its administration, can save 71 minutes on average in treating appropriate emergency department (ED) patients, compared to usual pain-killing techniques, with the added benefit of saving up to 50% on the cost of treatment per patient depending on the type of trauma injury.1

The results echo recent findings from other hospitals which show that patients treated with methoxyflurane spend significantly less time in ED compared to those treated with standard care.2,3

These results come at a time when the NHS is facing exceptional pressure and demonstrate how the use of Penthrox as a first-line analgesic for appropriate patients can free up resources including staff and equipment required to treat patients compared with standard treatments

Over the course of six months, the researchers, supported by A&E Consultant Dr George Bailey, looked at the length of stay in the Emergency Department for patients with moderate or severe trauma pain who received methoxyflurane compared with those who received standard care.1

Adult patients with moderate to severe trauma pain and Glasgow Coma Score of 15 were included in the evaluation.

Patients in both the methoxyflurane and standard care cohorts were matched for analytical purposes based on patient characteristics, including age group, gender and injury type, and previous medical history, in order to limit any potential for bias.

There were particular gains for patients suffering from a dislocated shoulder, where methoxyflurane patients saved over three hours in treatment time.1

The study, published today in the journal Advances in Therapy, also examined the different treatment costs and concluded that methoxyflurane may save up to 50% on the cost of treatment per patient, depending on the type of trauma injury.1

The researchers explained that Penthrox can negate the need for procedural sedation, which requires an intravenous line into the arm, a resus bed — which are often not immediately free — and also requires the time of three staff to carry out the procedure.

By contrast, Penthrox could be administered in a chair or on a trolley and only required one — two staff members depending on the procedure, as Penthrox is self-administered by the patient.

The researchers commented: “Long waiting times, slow discharge times and overcrowding are affecting almost every ED in the UK, and the situation does not show any signs of significant improvement at present.”

They concluded: “This evaluation demonstrated that the early use of methoxyflurane can positively impact length of stay within EDs and provide effective pain relief for patients.”

Commenting on the findings, Dr George Bailey said: “During our evaluation the use of Penthrox was well received by our staff and patients.’

“Being able to offer early fast-acting pain relief is essential and we were pleased to find the additional benefit of reducing time patients spent in the ED compared to standard care.”

Dr Dennise Broderick,
President & Managing Director,

Dr Dennise Broderick, Managing Director and President of Galen (who market Penthrox in the UK) added: “We all know the immense pressures facing trauma services in the UK, exacerbated in these exceptional circumstances.’

“We welcome these latest findings, which reinforce what has already been long accepted in other parts of the world — that Penthrox can help improve the throughput of patients in A&E departments by offering an effective means of pain control for patients that is simple to use and fast-acting.’

“We’re committed to providing education to help hospital teams make use of this particular innovation in the coming weeks and months.”

Penthrox consists of a green-coloured tube containing a fixed measure of methoxyflurane and can be self-administered by patients.

It can provide up to 60 minutes of pain relief per treatment.4

As a single-use product that requires no canisters, additional breathing masks or tubes and is disposed of after patient use via a sealable plastic bag, it greatly minimises the potential of inadvertently spreading infection across a department or between buildings.


  1. Young L, Bailey G, McKinley J. Service evaluation of methoxyflurane versus standard care for overall management of patients with pain due to injury. Adv Ther 2020.
  2. Umana E, et al.Inhaled methoxyflurane for the reduction of acute anterior shoulder dislocation in the emergency department. CJEM2019:21(4): 468-472
  3. Gangadharan L. Penthrox in the ED –is it worth the hype? Presented at The Royal College of Emergency Medicine Spring CPD meeting. April 2019
  4. Penthrox (methoxyflurane) Inhalation Product Information. December 2018
  5. Coffey F, Wright J, Hartshorn S et al. STOP!: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of methoxyflurane for the treatment of acute pain. Emerg Med J2014; 31(8):613–618.
  6. Mercadante S, Voza A, Serra S, et al. Analgesic Efficacy, Practicality and Safety of Inhaled Methoxyflurane Versus Standard Analgesic Treatment for Acute Trauma Pain in the Emergency Setting: A Randomised, Open-Label, Active-Controlled, Multicentre Trial in Italy (MEDITA). Adv Ther 2019; 36(11):3030-3046.

AA & LAS Announce Ground-Breaking Partnership To Keep Frontline Crews Moving

The AA has partnered with London Ambulance Service to provide additional expert support to help the Service keep clinicians on the road responding to Londoners in need during the coronavirus epidemic.

The partnership includes 24-hour breakdown and incident management services such as roadside assistance and vehicle recovery for London Ambulance Service vehicles.

Working with the team of skilled mechanics from London Ambulance Service, the AA teams will provide immediate technical support for the Service’s fleet of more than 500 ambulances and 70 fast response cars.

Forty-one AA patrols have been sent to the twelve London Ambulance Service workshops across the capital to work alongside the Service’s fleet workshop teams providing additional mechanical support and breakdown recovery and keeping vehicles ready to respond.

Garrett Emmerson, London Ambulance Service chief executive said: “We are very grateful for the support of the AA as the country faces the biggest public health challenge in generations — one that is putting unprecedented strain on our Service.’

“Our staff and volunteers are working harder than ever to provide life-saving care to Londoners.’

Garrett Emmerson,
Chief Executive, LAS

“This partnership will help our fleet and workshop teams make sure crews can get back out on the road and continue to reach those patients that need us most.”

Edmund King, AA president said: “We are proud to play our part supporting the vital ambulance services in London during this crisis.’

“This is an unprecedented situation and we’ve all got to pull together to ease the pressure on our emergency services and the NHS.’

“We would be delighted to offer a similar service to the other ambulance services across the UK.

Edmund King,
President, The AA

“We’re still here to keep key workers and members on the move, but urge motorists to heed government advice and only travel when it’s essential.”

The AA provides breakdown services to several ambulance services across the country and is working to roll out further support schemes to keep the UK’s emergency services moving during COVID-19.

The AA has also secured a deal with its parts supplier, Euro Car Parts, to provide mechanical parts for ambulance service at cost.

This supplier will not profit from any sales to the ambulance service throughout the crisis.

To read about the AA’s actions during COVID-19 see

Your Ambulance Service Needs You

At a time when the country is pulling together to tackle the Corona Virus outbreak, West Midlands Ambulance Service is putting out an appeal to registered paramedics who live in the region to re-join the Service in order to help treat the increasing numbers of patients.

WMAS has already significantly increased its capacity to deal with COVID-19 patients, but we want to go further still to ensure we can provide care to patients in their hour of need and save as many lives as possible.

As a result, we are looking for any paramedics who retired within the last two years or are working in the private sector for the likes of events medical companies who would like to come back into the NHS family to get in touch.

We have also had former members of staff contact us who went on a career break to look after children, offering to come back, which we welcome.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “Over the last couple of years, we know that several hundred staff have retired from our service after giving many years of outstanding care to the public.’

“We would like those paramedics to consider returning to WMAS so that we can increase the quality and amount of care that we can provide the public in these challenging times.’

“Equally, we have already had a number of paramedics who normally provide medical cover at events such as horse racing come to us to offer their services, for which we are very grateful.’

“We want to boost the number of paramedics we have available as much as possible, so re-employing former paramedics and those who work in the private sector who would like to join us makes sense.’

“Across our country we have seen how much we are all pulling together, from the astonishing scene last Thursday during ‘The Big Clap’ through to the amazing generosity of companies and individuals towards our staff; now we want to go one step further by increasing the number of paramedics to boost our ability to care for patients even further.’

“For those who have retired; I know how much the time you spent with us meant to you; many of you have told me that when we have spoken.’

“I wouldn’t ask you to re-join if I didn’t think it was the right thing for the public of the West Midlands and our country.”

Those who would like to join the Service either on a short term or long term basis are invited to apply via NHS Jobs ( and look out for Job Reference: 217-VN488-19-20

Over 1,000 People & Hundreds Of Students Want To Help Save Lives

In just three days, over 1,000 people applied to become a lifesaver in the West Midlands.

Together with hundreds of students, West Midlands Ambulance Service is enacting unprecedented plans to protect the public and save lives.

In these extraordinary times that face our country, we have put extensive plans that will see a substantial increase in staff numbers and upskilling hundreds of existing staff so that they can help the public.

Over recent weeks, we have increased the number of call assessors in both our 999 and 111 control rooms, but last weekend we asked for applications to increase that number further.

In just 72 hours, over 1,000 people had applied.

We are now fast tracking those applications with dozens of interviews held yesterday with more taking place on Friday.

In addition, the Trust has been working with our local university partners (Staffordshire, Coventry, Worcester, Wolverhampton and Birmingham City) to recruit around 200 third year paramedic students. 

These are students who are just weeks away from qualifying and have spent thousands of hours on our ambulances, working with our staff, treating patients.  They are very well trained and experienced already.

All of them will work with fully qualified paramedics and technicians on the road. 

As of Monday, this has allowed us to double the number of ambulances operating from our Bromsgrove Hub, where we have gone from 20 crews a day to 40.

A further 130 Year 2 university graduate paramedics have also been taken on to work as assistants to our vehicle preparation operatives; the staff who play a vital role cleaning and re-stocking our ambulances which allows our clinical staff to spend more time treating patients.

This will double our capacity at a time when this role has never been more important.

Emergency Services Operations Delivery Director, Nathan Hudson, said: “We are receiving huge support from our university students who are desperate to do their part to help the nation at this time.’

“Many are already very familiar to our staff and the response we have had from the team at Bromsgrove has been incredible with the students made to feel very welcome.’

“These students would have qualified over the next few weeks as HCPC registered paramedics so are a tremendous asset for us and I have no doubt that they will help to save many lives over the coming weeks.’

“I am incredibly proud of the students and also our staff for doing the right thing to help patients.”

Our existing staff are also playing their part. With the number of non-emergency appointments significantly reduced, 320 of our patient transport service staff have agreed to undertake additional training so that we can significantly increase our ability to transport GP patient referrals, hospital discharges and low acuity patients where appropriate using strict protocols.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “We are dealing with a Global Pandemic and a National Emergency.  COVID-19 presents the NHS with arguably the greatest challenge it has faced since its creation.’

“I am committed to doing everything necessary to protect the public and save lives. Seeing the lengths that our staff are going to, to help people has never made me feel prouder to lead such an organisation.’

“We have taken difficult decisions in recent weeks and will continue to do everything necessary to ensure we protect the 999 service, but it is vital that the public help us.’

“The message is clear, Stay at home; Protect the NHS; Save lives. Anyone can spread the virus so:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home