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Posted on Apr 19, 2022

Apheresis technology in blood banking

There are many things in a blood bank that are generally not known to general public but it is mandatory to know basics. So here we will discuss one technique.

Apheresis is a technique by which whole blood is withdrawn from a donor, is separated into its different constituents, required component is collected and remaining constituents along with the plasma is transfused back to the donor at the same time. This procedure is performed with the help of a highly sophisticated machine commonly called as cell separator.

A disposable PVC apheresis kit is used for each procedure which is installed on the machine. The blood of donor circulates within this disposable kit and do not come into contact with the machine and thus there is no risk of one donor acquiring any blood borne infection from another donor. The procedure is entirely safe with minimal side effects if any.

Advantages of apheresis donation

There are many advantages of apheresis donation over whole blood donation both for the patient and the donor. Patient will receive blood from a single donor, so there will be less risk of getting any blood borne infection. Also, the product prepared is leuko- reduced so the chance of developing a febrile reaction will be reduced. A donor also can donate more frequently via apheresis than he can donate via whole blood.

Apheresis technology can be used both for the preparation of single donor blood products and also for treatment of patients with various disease conditions. Mainly therapeutic apheresis is indicated in neurological conditions like myasthenia gravis, LGBS, hematological conditions like TTP-HUS, in cases of ABO incompatible renal transplant patients both for prophylaxis as well as treatment of graft rejection. Therapeutic apheresis is a well-established treatment method which has fewer side effects and is more affordable as compared to other traditional treatment protocols.

Thus, apheresis technology can be better and increasingly utilized for preparation of standard products with good quality and as a therapeutic procedure for treatment of various disease conditions.

I will be discussing role of apheresis with regard to specific disease entities in my subsequent blogs.

Till then, stay healthy and keep donating blood.