Apheresis is a process that involves removing whole blood from a donor or patient and then separating it into various components, including plasma, platelets and leukocytes. The desired component is collected, and the remainder of the blood is returned to the body. In blood donors, platelets, red blood cells, or white blood cells (including blood stem cells) are selectively collected for a variety of therapeutic uses.
When apheresis is performed for patients, one of the separated portions is withdrawn when it is affected by disease, and the remaining components are then re-transfused back to the patient. There are a variety of hematologic, neurologic, and transplant-related indications for apheresis.
The Apheresis Service also provides specialized apheresis techniques such photopheresis (treating white blood cells with UV light for immune system modulation) and lipid pheresis (removing lipids to prevent cardiovascular disease).
The Apheresis Service also participates in research activities within the division and with local collaborators. Areas of research expertise include research donor collections, new photopheresis treatment protocols, and novel apheresis techniques.
If you’d like to donate blood, including volunteering for apheresis blood donation, we invite you to learn more about our Blood Donation Center.
This page was last modified on 9/18/2015