The Science Behind Plasma Exchange: How it Works?

A treatment called a plasma exchange involves separating and removing plasma from blood in order to remove aberrant chemicals that are circulated in the plasma. The patient receives their red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells back together with a specified replacement fluid such as fresh frozen plasma or human albumin solution. In simple words, “old plasma” is removed and replaced with “new plasma.”

What is meant by plasma?

White blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets can circulate through the blood’s fluid part, or plasma. It is a transparent, straw-colored liquid that mostly consists of dissolved forms of several different chemicals in water.Hormones, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and antibodies that are carried by plasma allow the body’s various organs to communicate chemically with one another. If you are looking to donate plasma, reach out to the blood transfusion in Coimbatore to undergo a safe procedure.

What diseases can be treated with plasma exchange therapy?

This procedure is used by medical professionals to treat various blood diseases, neurological conditions, and blood malignancies. Plasma exchange may be used as an initial or first-line treatment or in conjunction with other therapies. A plasma exchange procedure may also be used by providers to aid organ transplant recovery. 

How does plasma exchange work in treating various medical conditions?

Plasma exchange may be used by providers to eliminate dangerous antibodies from people’s plasma. Among these illnesses are:

Guillain Barre Syndrome:

When the immune system targets your nerves, this illness develops. Plasma exchange removes antibodies from your blood that are targeting your immune system.

Multiple Sclerosis:

People with multiple sclerosis utilize plasma exchange treatment to deal with abrupt, severe signs caused by the proteins in their plasma that damage their bodies.

Myasthenia gravis:

When antibodies that are meant to fight invaders start attacking healthy tissue, myasthenia gravis results. The abnormal antibodies are filtered out during plasma exchange.

Does the process of plasma exchange hurt?

The process is not painful, although it may tend to make you fatigued or tired. When the intravenous catheter is introduced, you may experience some discomfort, but this will pass.

When is plasma exchange recommended?

Your diagnosis will determine this. For instance, several illnesses produce chemicals that travel throughout the body in the blood’s plasma component. These chemicals, sometimes referred to as “autoantibodies,” target sound tissue or cells. These autoantibodies are the result of an immune system malfunction in the body. Other illnesses involve an excessive protein production that thickens the blood and slows blood flow. You and your doctor will talk about whether plasma exchange will be beneficial in your particular situation.

Is plasma exchange a safe procedure?

Each year, over 300,000 plasma exchanges are completed successfully around the world. Another million plasma exchange-like procedures are carried out annually on willing donors to collect platelets and plasma, with comparable success rates.

How is the plasma exchange procedure performed?

A device called a blood cell separator, which employs a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the blood’s cells, is used to exchange plasma.

The cell separator operates constantly and makes use of single-use, sterile tube sets and needles. Through a needle connected to a blood tubing system, blood is taken from a patient’s arm vein or central line. To prevent blood from clotting, an anticoagulant is administered to the blood. Plasma is separated from the blood as it passes through the machine, and it is then collected in a bag. Through a second needle inserted into the opposite arm or central line, the plasma is replaced with fresh plasma and returned.

Typically, a plasma exchange takes one to two hours. Your doctor will determine the number of plasma exchanges based on the illness’s severity.

A customized intravenous catheter may be put into one of the neck veins for patients who have trouble finding or have small veins, or for patients who need a series of plasma exchange treatments. Before the plasma exchange, this catheter will be implanted, allowing blood to be drawn from you into the cell separator via one of its two lumens and processed blood to be returned via the other. It will stay in place until all of the plasma exchange operations have been completed.

How can you feel after plasma exchange therapy?

After the operation, most people experience severe fatigue. Your body gets its moisture from plasma. After your treatment, your doctor may advise you to consume more fluids than usual.

What are the benefits of plasma therapy?

Multiple neurological illnesses and blood problems can be safely and effectively treated with plasma exchange, which also helps to relieve symptoms. Additionally, it benefits recipients of organ transplants.

Important Takeaway:

The overall treatment for problems such blood disorders, blood malignancies, and neurological ailments includes plasma exchange. These conditions are not cured by plasma exchange. However, it does lessen symptoms that could reduce your quality of life. Ask your doctor for more details if you think plasma exchange might treat a condition you have. Visit the blood transfusion hospitals in Coimbatore in case you are looking for plasma therapy and to know how it helps.

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