Apheresis Therapy: Red Cell Exchange

Also known as: red cell exchange apheresis, red cell exchange, therapeutic erythrocytapheresis.

What is apheresis therapy: red cell exchange?

Apheresis therapy is a medical procedure that’s used to remove certain blood components when problems exist. Red cell exchange involves removing problematic red blood cells from the blood. It’s often used as a treatment for sickle cell disease.

What happens during the procedure?

A needle or an IV and catheter are used to draw blood from the patient. Then the blood is placed in a machine that separates the blood into its different components. The red blood cells are discarded and replaced with donor red blood cells. Then the blood is placed back into the patient’s body.

Is any special preparation needed?

No special preparation is needed for apheresis therapy: red cell exchange.

What are the risk factors?

Discomfort and lightheadedness are possible side effects of apheresis therapy: red cell exchange.


Reviewed by: Balagangadhar Totapally, MD

This page was last updated on: August 03, 2020 12:15 PM

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