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Plasma is the liquid part of the blood and shows yellow. It is mainly responsible for transporting blood cells, proteins and some other essential substances around body and taking away metabolic waste products.Back To Top
Plasma exchange is one blood purification method that is used to clear away macromolecular substances from the body. Plasma exchange is a procedure by which patients’ blood is separated into its different parts: red cells, white cells, plasma and platelets. Next, plasma or the pathogenic factors in plasma are removed from the blood, and then a plasma substitute returns the primary plasma’s place. Therefore, plasma exchange can provide a clean internal environment for patients.Back To Top
Some diseases create substances which circulate all over the body in the plasma. In some diseases, these substances are called auto-antibodies or immune complexes, and other diseases cause an overproduction of protein, resulting in slowing down the blood flow. Then, the physician will decide if it is desirable to remove these immune complexes or excess proteins. If yes, patients’ plasma will be replaced with donated fresh frozen plasma or acceptable replacement fluids such as normal saline and a mixture of albumin.
Plasma exchange is used widely in clinical and it can help treat various disorders. The following is an overview.
1.Poisoning due to a variety of causes
If the person has poisoning such as muscarinism and acute drug poisoning, plasma exchange should be done as soon as possible, so as to eliminate the toxins from the body timely.
Many kidney diseases belong to autoimmune diseases, including Lupus Nephritis, Purpura Nephritis and IgA Nephritis, etc. When these diseases can’t be controlled well by steroids and immunosuppressive agents, patients can accept plasma exchange that can ease their symptoms quickly and protect their kidney function.
3. Rheumatic disease
People, who have SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, dermatomyositis, and so on, have a lot of antibodies and immune complexes in their body. Plasma exchange is able to clear away various antibodies and immune complexes efficiently.
Besides, some blood diseases, nervous system diseases, acute and chronic liver failure, etc, can also be controlled by this blood purification method. However, during or after plasma exchange, some complications may occur.
● Low calcium level and muscle cramps
● Bleeding tendence
● Infections or virus infections
● Low potassium level
If you have one or more symptoms the above mentioned, you should tell your doctor as soon as possible.
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