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Transfusion Medicine

Treatments & Procedures

The Department of Transfusion Medicine is responsible for the collection and testing of blood to be given to patients at KIMS Hospital. The division is also responsible for collecting and processing hematopoietic stem cells for blood and bone marrow transplantation as well as the testing necessary for organ transplantation.

The Transfusion Medicine Department performs the most advanced treatments and procedures in Transfusion services, which are often vital for the patient's recovery and wellbeing. They include:


AUTOLOGOUS DONATION

The patient's own blood is often the safest for Blood transfusion. Patients who are planning to opt for elective surgery requiring blood transfusion may be able to donate blood for themselves prior to surgery. This is called autologous donation or pre-donation. Patient's health status and red blood count (hemoglobin or hematocrit) determine whether they can donate; final approval rests with the Transfusion Medicine specialists and the surgeons of the concerned departments who are treating the patient. The patient's doctor decides how much blood is needed. KIMS Transfusion Medicine Department collects, processes, and tests the blood and delivers it to the transfusing facility.


THERAPEUTIC PHLEBOTOMY

Therapeutic Phlebotomy is the controlled removal of a prescribed volume of blood from the patient for the purpose of treating a disease, most often for iron overload disease or Hemochromatosis, or Polycythemia. A Therapeutic Phlebotomy is very similar to a blood donation, except for the fact that a physician has prescribed it as a form of medical treatment. At KIMS, this procedure is performed by experienced transfusion specialists.


PLATELET PHERESIS

Platelet pheresistransfusion is the processesof removing whole blood from a donor, separating the blood into its components, keeping the platelets, and then returning the remaining blood components to the donor. The major components of whole blood are red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma. Platelets are the tiny cells that help form clots and control bleeding. Many patients who need platelets are undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant and have weakened immune systems. A platelet dose from a single donor reduces the patient's exposure to multiple donors and is therefore preferred by many physicians. Single donor platelets obtained from a single donor by apheresis also reduces Transfusion reaction rateand prevents allo-immunization.


PERIPHERAL STEM CELL COLLECTION

Peripheral blood is blood in the veins. Stem cells are early, immature cells that are produced in the bone marrow. They can grow up to be any type of blood cell-white cell to fight infections, a red cell to carry oxygen or a platelet to help clot the blood. A peripheral stem cell donor may be the patient donating his or her own cells to be frozenfor later use or a sister of brother donating for a sibling who is ill. Stem cell collection is done by using an apheresis machine, which is the same type used for platelet donation. Peripheral stem cell collection is used in diabetic wound healing since it stimulates cell proliferation and re-epithelization.


LEUCOREDUCED PACKED CELLS

Leukoreduction is a process in which the majority of white blood cells are removed from blood components. Reducing donor leukocytes helps prevent non-hemolytic febrile transfusion reactions, alloimmunization to HLA antigens, and transmission of leukocyte-borne viruses such as cytomegalovirus (CMV). The component preparation process chosen depends on component inventory requirements. First, whole blood is filtered to reduce the number of leukocytes. Next, the filtered whole blood unit is centrifuged using carefully controlled centrifugation speeds and temperatures to separate the red cells from the plasma. Plasma is then expressed into one of the satellite bag. The plasma can be promptly frozen to preserve coagulation factors and produce Fresh Frozen Plasma or Frozen Plasma depending on how soon after collection it was frozen.


WASHED RBCS

Washing a unit of Red Blood Cells with sterile normal saline removes about 99% of plasma proteins, electrolytes and antibodies. Saline washed Red Blood Cells are indicated for patients with or for those who have allergic or febrile reactions to plasma components of the blood product. This product may be used in patients with antibodies to IgA or IgE immunoglobulins or thalassemic patients.

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