Another Doctor Day continued...

I know that the "blood washing" does not mean much to anyone who reads this...washing the blood?
Here is a brief description below...It takes about 2 to 3 hours depending on how the blood is flowing
and we will be doing this for 3 days in a row...and then perhaps chemo at the end of the week...
GOING TO BE A DOCTOR WEEK!!

Detailed Guide:
Plasmapheresis
When the level of IgM gets very high, the blood becomes very thick (viscous). This high viscosity can cause brain damage (like a stroke) and bleeding problems. When that happens, the level of the abnormal IgM protein needs to be lowered right away. Plasmapheresis lowers the viscosity ("thickness") of the blood using a machine that separates the plasma (the liquid part of the blood) from the blood cells. The liquid part of the blood contains the abnormal protein. The blood cells are mixed with salt solution and new plasma and given back to the patient. The plasma containing the abnormal protein is discarded. Each plasmapheresis treatment takes a few hours.

A person having plasmapheresis can lie in bed or sit in a reclining chair. Two IV lines are required -- the blood is removed through one IV, and then is returned to the body through the other IV. Sometimes, a larger catheter is placed in the neck or under the collar bone for the pheresis -- instead of using IV lines in the arms. This type of catheter is called a "central line" and has both IVs built in. Plasmapheresis is not painful, but it can be hard to stay sitting or lying down in the same place for 2 to 3 hours.

Plasmapheresis works quickly to get the IgM level down to a safe level. However, without further treatment to kill the cancer cells (like chemotherapy) the protein level will go back up again. Plasmapheresis is usually given to help the patient until chemotherapy has a chance to work. Sometimes plasmapheresis is used for those whose Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia is not controlled by chemotherapy, biological therapy, or other treatments. When patients have symptoms from elevated IgM, they need to have plasmapheresis right away to prevent complications

3 comments:

Pat Dalke said...

Pattie:

It has struck me how quickly these miraculous procedures become routine. Thank God for blood washing!

It's not been so long ago that I thanked God for dialysis and stem cell collection. The procedures sound similar to blood washing.

My thoughts will be with you during this "doctor week".

There's just so much waiting...

Barb said...

What an amazing process. My thoughts and prayers are with you this week as always.

Patricia J. Mosca said...

Pat...
Yes this process is very similar to dialysis...It is totally amazing to watch and the story behind how the machine was created is just as amazing...Developed by a dairy farmer to help save his sons' life...
I will see if I can find information on it...
Patience and hope!