Doha, September 20 (QNA) - Sidra Medicine, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, is celebrating Apheresis Awareness Day -which falls on Sep. 21 annually- with the theme "Spinning to Advance Apheresis Medicine", by encouraging people to donate blood to help treat children with life threatening blood and kidney diseases.
Apheresis is a process which involves removing or replacing blood components such as red or white blood cells, platelets, lipids or plasma to treat certain illnesses like cancer, blood or kidney disease, Neurological and other blood related illnesses.
Attending Physician in Nephrology and Medical Director of the Apheresis Program at Sidra Medicine Dr. Ahmad Kaddourah said that "Since August 2018, Sidra Medicine has performed 152 life-saving red blood cells and therapeutic plasma exchange procedures on young patients from neurology, hematology, oncology, nephrology and those in intensive care."
"At times, we have used the therapy in combination with other complex procedures such as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) and Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT) putting the spotlight on the many therapies that are being conducted at our hospital to save the lives of children and young people in Qatar," he added.
He noted that types of apheresis therapies are dependent on donors, explaining in this regard: "For example, we might have a child whose plasma needs to be replaced with Fresh Frozen Plasma (FFP), which is harvested from donated blood - this procedure is used particularly on children with rare blood or blood clotting diseases."
"Apheresis therapy is also used with children who have Sickle Cell disease, and need their red blood cells replaced using donor blood," he said, adding: "this is why we want to encourage the community to donate blood as their contribution is critical to saving lives. We also want to acknowledge and thank those who are active blood donors and we hope they will continue their noble service."
He pointed out that globally, the utilization of apheresis medicine has increased especially in patients with diseases like cancer and blood disorders, explaining that it is also being extensively applied in plasma exchange therapy for critically ill patients.
Sidra Medicine is in the process of expanding its apheresis program, with a Stem Cell Collection component, as part of its future Bone Marrow Transplant service. (QNA)
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