WHAT IS APHERESIS?
Apheresis is a special kind of blood donation that allows the donor to give specific blood components.
The blood of the donor is passed through an apparatus that separates out particular constituents and returns the remainder to the circulation. These blood components are the plasma and the platelets.
Donation using Apheresis is done through a precise and safe device which automatically separates blood components. Apheresis is done using one of the most widely spread and latest devices in the world. It uses a sterilized disposable unit, which is discarded after every donation, making it almost impossible to contract? disease from the process.
The amount of plasma and platelets you can donate is determined automatically using a computerized device. This amount is determined based on your weight, height and complete blood count (CBC) result which is done once you arrive.
This blood donation process is safe and easy. A small portion of your blood (about 1/4 pint at a time), is drawn from your arm and passed through a sophisticated cell-separating machine. The machine collects the platelets and safely returns the remaining blood components, along with some saline, back to you. It is done within 90 to 120 minutes. You are closely supervised throughout the procedure by trained staff. During the process, you may watch TV, listen to music, read or sit back and relax. Your body loses a small amount of blood during Apheresis so after the process you can resume your normal activities, but avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise on that day. Your body will replace the donated plasma and platelets within 24 hours. You can donate using Apheresis every 14 days.
THE URGENT NEED
Platelets are one of the important blood units in our body, that help in the primary clot formation to stop bleeding. Platelets are really important to Cancer and Leukemia patients. Their body can’t produce platelets. Some of these cases are serious due to their exposure to chemotherapy and intensive radiation which lead to having weakened immune systems.These patients need platelets which protect them from the threat of bleeding to death.
The need for platelet donors increases by time. One donor may help from one, to over two patients each time he or she donates platelets. Healthy donors have more than enough platelets in their body, therefore donation won’t have any negative impact on them.
Platelets can be derived from normal blood donation but this may take up to 6 blood bags to be sufficient for one patient. A single platelet donation can provide enough platelets for a full therapeutic dose for a patient in need. In fact, some platelet donations yield enough platelets for two or three therapeutic doses. By contrast, it takes four to six whole blood donations to produce a single therapeutic dose.
Therefore, a platelet dose from a single donor reduces the patient’s exposure to multiple donors (4-6) and is therefore preferred by many physicians.
Key Facts about Platelet Donations:
- Donors should not take any aspirin or products containing aspirin 48 hours before donation, because aspirin inhibits the function of blood platelets.
- You can donate up to 24 times per year.
- Plasma can be collected simultaneously with a platelet donation. Plasma can be collected every 28 days up to 13 times per year.
- The donation takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours and may be a single or dual arm procedure depending on the collection device used.
The requirements are similar to the whole blood donation requirements. Please contact us for platelet donation opportunities at a blood donation drive near you.
* Source: nbts.gov.eg/pages/apheresis.html