24-hour availability of therapeutic apheresis services
Apheresis involves removing whole blood from a patient or donor, separating out desired components (e.g. plasma, granulocytes or red cells), and returning the remaining blood to the patient or donor.
Therapeutic apheresis is a treatment used when the patient has a condition that causes the body to over produce certain components in the blood or antibodies. Examples of these conditions are blood disorders such as TTP-HUS, essential thrombodytosis, Leukemia and neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. During this procedure, excess cells in the blood or disease causing antibodies are removed from the blood.
What To Expect During Apheresis
A catheter (small tube) is placed in a vein in your upper chest near your collarbone or in a large groin vein. (The doctor will decide where to place this catheter.) This may be done before or on the day of your apheresis procedure.
During apheresis, the catheter is connected to a machine called a blood cell separator. This machine takes out the abnormal blood cells or antibodies and returns the rest of your blood to you. The procedure is done for 1 to 5 hours each day over several days. It can be done in your hospital room or within the clinic.
The catheter can be left in place for the number of days needed to complete the procedure. (This prevents repeated needle sticks.) On the last day of apheresis, if you have a temporary catheter, your nurse will remove the catheter and place a pressure bandage on the site.