All of us at Our Blood Institute tend to focus much of our time and energy on the lifesaving act of blood donation, and for good reason: someone in the U.S. requires a blood transfusion every two seconds.
If you follow us on social media, read our blog, or have been to one of our blood drives, then you know how important that mission is to our health systems. What you may not be aware of, however, is that we are committed to helping our community in some lesser-known but similarly vital ways.
One such way? Apheresis therapy.
The word “apheresis” comes from the Greek word “aphairesis,” which translates to “a taking away.” Today, the term refers to a medical procedure that involves the separation, extraction and collection of specific components of a person’s blood. Put simply, an apparatus called an apheresis machine is able to identify the four major components of our blood – red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma – and extract any of them as needed.
These machines can be used for blood donation – at OBI, we refer to this as a Power Red donation – but can also provide patient-specific therapy.