Removing plasma non-specificallyAs early as the Middle Ages, people were bled if the cause of the disease was suspected to be in the patient's blood. Plasma exchange - also known as plasmapheresis - is established for diseases in which pathogenic, often not precisely known plasma substances have to be removed quickly. Since the method removes all plasma very unspecifically, the important substances and plasma proteins must be returned to the patient via replacement solutions.
When is plasma exchange useful?
Plasma exchange is often an ultima ratio therapy. It is always used when physicians suspect pathogens in the plasma, but they do not know them precisely. Known autoantibodies, liver toxins or lipoproteins, which in individual cases only have a pathogenic effect in high concentrations, are increasingly being removed with selective procedures.
How does the method work?
The blood cells are separated from the plasma in the Plasmaflo plasma separator. Subsequently, the patient receives a replacement solution back together with the previously separated blood cells. The patient's own plasma is discarded.
Albumin-containing solutions or Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP) are often used as replacement fluids. Side effects are more common with plasma exchange than with tryptophan immunoadsorption, for example. The risk of hepatitis E transmission through replacement solutions is not completely excluded and should be considered in severely immunosuppressed patients.
Plasmaflo OP series plasma separators with different surface areas are available for plasma exchange:
- 0.8 m² for vigorous patients
- 0.5 m² for routine clinical use
- 0.2 m² for the youngest and smallest patients
What is special about the Plasmaflo OP series?
Due to the superior membrane technology, plasma flows up to 33% of the extracorporeal blood flow are possible. Of course, Plasmaflo OP is biocompatible and ETO-free due to its special polyethylene membrane.
Even infants can be successfully treated with the Plasauto SIGMA multifunctional device. Both heparin and citrate anticoagulation are possible. The patented balancing system is highly accurate and enables virtually alarm-free therapy even when FFP is used.
If the possibility exists to use selective procedures such as Lipidfiltration, immunoadsorption or double filtration plasmapheresis (DFPP), this option is often preferred. Tolerability is significantly better and important endogenous proteins such as coagulation factors and hormones are preserved.
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The following information is intended for healthcare professionals only.
The information in the section ‚products & therapies‘ is intended to provide explanatory, scientific, and evidence-based answers to medical questions about therapeutic apheresis.
This information does not constitute medical advice. The responsibility for patient care rests with the healthcare professional based on their professional licensure, experience, and knowledge of the patient.