The process of apheresis has become essential in providing blood components for therapy. Therapeutic apheresis is a technique that separates whole blood to isolate specific components and remove abnormal substances that can contribute to a patient’s disease. The technique can also be used to collect certain components of the blood, such as stem cells, red blood cells, platelets, and plasma from donors that are matched to a patient with a specific need. A volunteer donor will undergo apheresis, a process that usually takes a few hours, to collect specific components for subsequent treatments.

Examples include:

This is the most common means for supplying HLA matched platelets to patients who have become HLA sensitized and require platelets from a single donor whose HLA type matches theirs.
The plasma can be removed to supply blood components such as clotting factors. Donors can give plasma via this mechanism more often than they can donate whole blood.

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