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Therapeutic Apheresis and Special Products

Apheresis procedures to treat a variety of diseases, stem cell collections and coordination of blood donations

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Therapeutic Apheresis

Therapeutic apheresis and special products includes apheresis procedures to treat a variety of diseases, stem cell collections and coordination of specific blood donations for patients with unique transfusion needs (HLA platelet transfusions).

At Versiti, our expertise extends to direct patient care. The therapeutic services group at BloodCenter provides specialized transfusion support for patients with unique needs including Therapeutic apheresis and the collection of products for patients who require matched platelet products based on alloimmunization to either HLA or platelet-specific antigens.

In 2011, Therapeutic Services staff performed more than 2,000 therapeutic apheresis procedures in support of patients with special needs. These procedures are coordinated by our expert staff, and overseen by our experienced physician team, who assists in patient evaluation, logistics and details such as volume of exchanges, replacement fluids and access requirements.

Versiti provides an extended spectrum of care, including:

  • Therapeutic plasma exchange Versiti performed more than 1,300 therapeutic plasmapheresis procedures in 2011. Most of these were performed in hospitals and clinics, with the remainder conducted at BloodCenter of Wisconsin. We provide these services for a wide range of indications including TTP, antibody-mediated syndromes in neurology, nephrology, hematology and organ transplantation.
  • Automated red cell exchange Versiti performs red cell exchange primarily for patients with sickle cell disease. Automated exchange is performed on an emergent basis in the appropriate setting such as CNS stroke, acute chest syndrome and priapism, as well as the outpatient setup for prevention of sickle cell disease related events such as CNS stroke.
  • Leukopheresis and plateletpheresis These procedures are performed when cytoreduction is needed for hypervisconty related to acute leukemia or for bleeding or clotting associated with myeloproliferative disorders with thrombocytosis.
  • LDL apheresis LDL Apheresis treatment is a selective form of LDL cholesterol-lowering therapy used to help patients with familial hypercholesterolemis (FH). The Liposorber system used is approved to acutely remove LDL cholesterol from the plasma of patients with FH for whom diet has been ineffective and maximum drug therapy (such as statins) has either been ineffective or not well tolerated.
  • Collection of granulocytes and mononuclear cells Granulocytes are collected following stimulation of volunteer donors for support of neutropenic patients with refractory infections. BloodCenter of Wisconsin maintains a group of volunteer donors willing to provide granulocytes. Donors are stimulated with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor to improve collection yields. The viability of granulocytes upon storage is extremely limited, and the product must be transfused within 24 hours of collection. Accordingly, granulocyte collections undergo expedited testing and processing.
    • Blood Bulletin America's Blood Centers provides a monograph for health care professionals regarding granulocyte transfusion therapy.
    • Sipuleucel-T (PROVENGE) is an autologous cellular immunotherapy indicated for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer. Therapeutic Services at BloodCenter of Wisconsin serves these patients by collecting their mononuclear cells so they can be manipulated, processed and used for “personalized” immunotherapy to treat their prostate cancer.
  • Collection of hematopoetic progenitor cells
  • Therapeutic phlebotomy
  • Collection of autologous and directed units
  • HLA/HPA matched platelet support
  • Extracorponeal photopheresis Therapeutic Services performs extracorporeal photopheresis using the Therakos CellEx system to treat complications of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (chronic Graft verses Hose disease; cGVHD) and some forms of solid organ transplantation rejection (Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome after lung transplantation) unresponsive to medical treatment.
    • The CellEx system is approved for the palliative treatment of skin manifestations of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) that is unresponsive to other forms of treatment.

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