CLINICAL APHERESIS

What is Clinical Apheresis?

Clinical apheresis procedures can be classified as either the exchange of blood components or the selective removal of specific components. A portion of the blood is removed or treated, with the remaining components being returned to the patient.

Vitalant Expertise

Vitalant’s clinical apheresis team provides expert care for treating a wide spectrum of patients across all age groups. With decades of experience in markets across the nation, Vitalant is your partner in transforming patient’s lives through:

  • Evidence based practice
  • Medical Director oversight, consultation, guidance and patient management
  • Highly trained and experienced clinical apheresis team
  • Operational cost management savings
  • Physician/staff education programs
  • Actively involved in research protocols and cellular therapy collections
  • Comprehensive quality assurance plan
  • 24/7 scheduled, on call and emergent procedure coverage
  • Procedures performed in outpatient and inpatient settings
  • Quarterly monitoring reports

Apheresis: What to Expect

What can you expect before, during and after an apheresis procedure with Vitalant?

If you have been referred to Vitalant for clinical apheresis services, our staff is here to assist with making an appointment and answering any questions you may have about the process.

To best prepare for your apheresis procedure:

  • Eat a healthy, low-fat meal within two hours ahead of your procedure.
  • Start hydrating at least 24 hours prior to procedure.
  • Increase calcium intake 48-72 hours prior to procedure.
  • Avoid or limit caffeinated sodas, coffee, iced tea and energy drinks on the day of procedure.
  • Wear loose clothing where your arm veins can be easily and comfortably accessed.
  • If a central venous catheter (CVC) or implanted port is used, wear a button down shirt for accessibility.

After you arrive for your procedure, a Vitalant staff member will check your vitals (blood pressure, temperature, pulse and respiration rate). You will then be seated in a reclining chair or bed while they prepare materials and equipment.

Prior to starting the procedure you will be asked to read and sign an informed consent.

You may eat, drink, read or watch TV during your procedure.

Citrate (an anticoagulant) is administered during apheresis procedures and might cause mild numbness or tingling sensations around the lips or in the fingers. You may experience dizziness or lightheadedness during or after the procedure. If you experience any of these side effects, please notify the Vitalant staff member performing your procedure immediately so they may help alleviate these symptoms.

Your Vitalant staff member will provide post procedure care and detailed discharge instructions. Normal activities can resume as tolerated.

Procedures Offered

Procedure Overview
Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE) is a procedure performed to remove disease-causing proteins or antibodies from plasma. During TPE whole blood is separated and plasma is exchanged with a protein solution (most commonly albumin). The patient’s removed plasma is discarded. Replacement solutions, along with the remaining components are returned to the patient.

What Does the Procedure Treat?

  • Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
  • Goodpasture's Syndrome
  • Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis (RPGN)
  • Systemic Vasculitis
  • Immune (Idiopathic) Thrombocytopenia (ITP)
  • Transplant Sensitization
  • Transplant Rejection (antibody type)
  • Waldenström Macroglobulinemia
  • Hyperviscosity Syndrome
  • Recurring Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS)
  • Other rarer diseases

Procedure Overview
Red Blood Cell Exchange (RBCx) is performed to remove abnormal or infected red blood cells that can no longer effectively carry oxygen throughout the body. During RBCx the patient’s red blood cells are separated from the other components and replaced with healthy red cells from volunteer blood donors.

What Does the Procedure Treat?

  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Malaria
  • Babesiosis
  • Polycythemia Vera and Erythrocytosis

Procedure Overview
White Blood Cell Reduction (WBCr) is performed when a patient has an abnormally high white blood cell count. During the procedure the patient’s WBCs are removed and discarded and the remaining components and replacement solutions are returned to the patient.

What Does the Procedure Treat?

  • Leukemia
  • Psoriasis

Procedure Overview
Platelet Reduction (PLTr) is performed when a patient has an abnormally high platelet count. During the procedure the patient’s PLTs are removed and discarded and the remaining components and replacement solutions are returned to the patient.

What Does the Procedure Treat?

  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
  • Essential Thrombocytosis
  • Disorders leading to increased platelet counts

Procedure Overview
Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) is a procedure that separates a patient’s white blood cells (WBCs) (leukocytes) from the other blood components. The white blood cells are treated with a medication called 8-methoxypsoralen and exposed to an ultraviolet light. The treated WBCs are then returned to the patient.

What Does the Procedure Treat?

  • Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma
  • GVHD
  • Solid Organ Transplant Rejection

Procedure Overview
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Apheresis is a procedure that separates a patient’s plasma from the other blood components. Specialized filters then remove LDL (bad) cholesterol from the plasma and the filtered blood is returned to the patient.

What Does the Procedure Treat?

  • Familial Hypercholesterolemia
  • LDL cholesterol levels of 200 mg/dl or higher with a history or coronary artery disease
  • LDL cholesterol levels of 300 mg/dl or higher without coronary artery disease

Procedure Overview
Red Blood Cell Reduction by Phlebotomy is a procedure that removes Red Blood Cells (RBCs) from a patient to decrease the thickness of RBCs, and/or, decrease iron overload in hyper-transfused states.

What Does the Procedure Treat?

  • Hemochromatosis
  • Polycythemia Vera
  • Secondary Polycythemia

Mononuclear cells (MNC) provide the starting material for a number of established and experimental cellular therapies, including enrichment and expansion, regenerative medicine, and immunization.

Mononuclear Cell Collections (MNC)

Procedure Overview
Mononuclear Cell Collection (MNC) is a procedure that separates a donor or patient’s White Blood Cells (WBCs) from the other blood components. The MNCs are collected into a bag and the remaining blood components are returned to the donor or patient.

What Does the Procedure Treat?

  • Metastatic Cancers
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Lymphoma and Leukemia
  • Brain Tumors

Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Collections (HPCs) (Stem Cell)

Procedure Overview
Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell (HPCs) collection is a procedure that separates a patient’s HPC (stem cells) from the other blood components. The HPCs are collected into a bag and the remaining blood components are returned to the patient.

What Does the Procedure Treat?

  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Myeloma
  • Blastoma

Collections for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)

Procedure Overview
Collections for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) are procedures that isolate specific cells from a donor or patient. These cells are collected into a bag and the remaining blood components are returned to the donor or patient.

What Does the Procedure Treat?

  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Severe Aplastic Anemia
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy

Where does Vitalant offer Clinical Apheresis?

Vitalant offers Clinical Apheresis services in the following states.

Please note, if your desired location isn’t listed, please call Vitalant at 1-877-358-4825 (1-877-35-VITAL) for more information.

  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Washington

Transforming Lives through Clinical Apheresis

John

John: Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (Plasmapheresis) (TPE) patient

TPE is performed when antibodies – disease-causing proteins – need to be removed from the patient. It is often performed on recent organ transplant patients like John, a cardiac transplant patient.

Mike

Mike: Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) patient

“I’ve had 10 ECP treatments administered by Vitalant to treat my Graft vs. Host Disease. I am feeling better every day and thank all of you who have made it possible for me.”

Nancy

Nancy: Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) patient

ECP is thought to improve symptoms of certain diseases by changing activity of the immune system. Nancy, an ECP patient, says she’s grateful for the care she’s received from Vitalant, loves her nurses and that they feel like family.