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Definition of «Apheresis»

Apheresis: The process of removing a specific component from blood and returning the remaining components to the donor, in order to collect more of one particular part of the blood than could be separated from a unit of whole blood. Also called hemapheresis or pheresis.

The forms of apheresis include:

  • Plasmapheresis -- to harvest plasma (the liquid part of the blood)
  • Leukapheresis -- to harvest leukocytes (white blood cells)
  • Granulocytapheresis -- to harvest granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophil)
  • Lymphocytapheresis -- to harvest lymphocytes
  • Lymphoplasmapheresis - to harvest lymphocytes and plasma
  • Plateletpheresis (thrombocytapheresis) - to harvest platelets (thrombocytes)

Apheresis takes longer than a whole blood donation. A whole blood donation takes about 10-20 minutes to collect the blood, while an apheresis donation may take about 1-2 hours.

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