Apheresis involves the removal of whole blood from a patient or donor. Whole blood is separated by a centrifugation or filtration process into the various blood components either plasma (plasmapheresis), platelets (plateletpheresis) or leukocytes (leukapheresis). The remaining blood component(s) are transfused back into the donor/patient. Apart from the collection of donor blood components, apheresis is used for treatment of certain (autoimmune) disorders (e.g. thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, sickle cell disease and Multiple Sclerosis). This is done to remove existing harmful substances or cells (e.g. antibodies, cytokines or diseased blood cells) when immunosuppressive or cytotoxic drugs suppress their production.
We focus on the various apheresis technologies; assess new equipment, collection methods and materials in order to improve the current methods. We are also interested in the quality, safety and storage of blood components collected by apheresis methods. We are setting up various educationaland training programs related to (the latest) apheresis technologies with a special focus on developing countries or inexperienced blood banks.
Our Chairperson is Hans Vrielink.
Apart from meeting at the biannual ISBT congresses, training and educational programs are discussed and set up.
Interested in joining the Apheresis WP? Please email our Chairperson.