Red Cell Apheresis:
What is Red Cell Apheresis?
Red Cell Apheresis is a new technology that allows Heartland Blood
Centers to collect only red cells using an apheresis process. Over
63% of all needed transfusion units are red cells. Red Cell Apheresis
separates red cells and plasma while your blood is being drawn,
unlike whole blood donations where blood components are separated
later in the process. Our patients' medical conditions and critical
needs determine the blood products they require. By donating through
apheresis we can better help match our donations collected to the
needs of our hospitals.
How does Red Cell Apheresis Compare to Whole Blood
Red Cell Apheresis selectively separates the red cells as the blood
is drawn and immediately returns the rest to the donor. Red Cell
Apheresis donations use a cell separator to draw the blood and provides
volume replacement (saline solution) to replace the volume of blood
lost by the donor, unlike whole blood that uses gravity to draw
the blood and does not replace any volume to the donor. Volume
replacement should help the donor feel more comfortable after the
procedure. Red Cell Apheresis uses a smaller needle than Whole Blood.
Red Cell Apheresis donations result in two full therapeutic doses,
two concentrated red cell units. Whole blood donations will be
converted into one full therapeutic dose of red cells and a partial
dose of red cells and a partial dose of platelets and plasma. Despite
two transfusable doses being collected, total volume of blood loss
to the donor is still slightly less than volume removed during a
regular whole blood donation.
How long will this procedure take?
The donation procedure will take about 35 - 45 minutes using a cell
separator. The entire visit to the Blood Center will only take
about 1 hour total.
Is the procedure dangerous?
Just like a whole blood donation, there is no risk of contracting
any disease by donating red cell apheresis. The risks associated
with this procedure are reduced compared to the ones that you would
encounter in a traditional whole blood donation or a routine platelet
apheresis procedure because volume replacement is given with each
procedure. The difference is that the Red Cell Apheresis retains
the red cells and returns the plasma, platelets and white cells
to the donors.
Why should I donate this way instead of
giving Whole Blood the traditional way?
You will be able to help two patients because your donation will
result in two full therapeutic doses for patients (two units of
red cells). You may be more comfortable than with any other blood
donation because the disposable unit for this procedure uses a smaller
needle. Donations collected by this procedure will be standardized
allowing doctors and medical staff to treat patients more effectively.
Blood centers will be able to draw selectively donor components
based on patient needs. Blood centers will be able to react more
quickly to possible emergencies or crisis.
What are the requirements to donate Two Unit
Red Cell Apheresis?
- Donors should be in good health
- Be at least 17 years old
- Have a minimum hematocrit of 40%
- Males must weigh at least 130 lbs. and be at
least 5'1" in height
- Females must weigh a minimum of 150 lbs. and
be at least 5'5" in height
- Specific medical conditions or medications should
be discussed with blood collection staff.
How often can I donate?
Unlike whole blood donations, you are eligible to donate only every
112 days, which is double the deferral period for a regular whole
blood donation. Is the screening process different from that of
the screening process for whole blood donors? No. The medical review
is the same for both. Can I get someone else's blood with this procedure?
No, each donation is performed using a sterile, individual use,
disposable kit that fits in the cell separator. Each disposable
kit is only used once. After the procedure, the disposable kit
is thrown away. Your blood only comes in contact with the sterile,
individual use disposable. You cannot get a disease from donating
considering volunteering to offer the gift of life, a blood
donation. Do you know there is another way for you to help
patients with bone marrow transplants, cancer, leukemia and
other fatal blood disorders? During treatment for their
illness, these patients are susceptible to infection and
bleeding because malignant and healthy cells are destroyed.
Transfusion of platelets is needed to control these
complications. You may give these patients a second chance by
becoming an apheresis blood donor.
Apheresis is the process of removing a specific component of the
blood, such as platelets, and returning the remaining
components, such as red blood cells and plasma, to the donor.
This process allows more of one particular part of the blood to
be collected than could be separated from a unit of whole blood.
happens during the procedure?
an apheresis procedure, blood will be removed from the arm, as
in a regular blood donation. It will be channeled through
sterile, single use tubing set to an automated system. This
automated system separates and collects the most needed
components and then safely returns the remaining blood
components back to you. Depending on your platelet count and
the amount of product taken, the process can take anywhere from
45 minutes to 2 hours.
How many times
may I donate my platelets cells by apheresis?
us has a supply of platelets in the blood, and as many as half
can be lost without ill effects. These components are replaced
by the body within forty-eight hours. This is why you may give
platelets more often than whole blood. (Whole blood collection
is permissible only every eight weeks.) Apheresis donors can
give up to 24 times per year.