Queen's Infusion Treatment Center is a ten-chair/bed infusion unit located on the 2nd Floor of the Nalani Wing, (just above the main lobby). The Infusion Treatment Center provides many specialized services including:
- IV antibiotics and other medication infusions
- Blood product transfusions
- Therapeutic phlebotomy
- Therapeutic apheresis services
- Outpatient procedural services such as bone marrow biopsy, etc.
All staff are Registered Nurses who have completed supplemental Apheresis training. The staff's extraordinary level of training and expertise translate into unsurpassed patient care.
- IV Antibiotics and/or medications
- IV Fluids/Hydration
- IM and subcutaneous medication
- Central Venous Catheter Care
Blood Product Transfusions
- Red blood cells
Therapeutic Apheresis Services
- Therapeutic Platelet Reduction
- Therapeutic WBC Reductions
- Therapeutic Plasma Exchange
Outpatient Procedural Services
Queen's staff will assist your physician with:
- Bone Marrow Aspiration/Biopsy
- Lumbar Puncture
An Introduction to Apheresis
This information will help you to better understand this special procedure called apheresis.
What is Apheresis?
Apheresis is a procedure that separates blood into different parts. These blood parts include red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma.
Why do I need this procedure?
As your doctor discussed with you, your illness may be, or is, related to a part of your blood. You need this procedure to remove this part of your blood. Your procedure will be for:
- Leukapheresis – the removal of white blood cells
- Plateletpheresis – the removal of platelets
- Plasmapheresis – the removal of plasma
How is this procedure done?
To do this procedure, blood that is drawn from you goes through a machine to separate the blood parts. The part that is being removed is taken away, and the rest of your blood is returned to you.
You may need to have a special temporary intravenous (IV) catheter put in. A surgeon can do this at your bedside or in the radiology department. If you will need long-term use of the catheter, a permanent IV catheter may be placed instead. The catheter has two sides: one to draw your blood, the other to return your blood to you. For some procedures, it may not be necessary to have a catheter placed. In these cases, the procedure(s) may be performed through IV needles placed in your arms. One needle will draw your blood, the other will return your blood to you. Both needles will be removed after the procedure is over.
Blood will be drawn from you from one side of the catheter (or from one needle). Your blood will then go through a machine called a blood cell separator. The cell separator will spin your blood rapidly. The rapid spinning separates the different parts of your blood into layers. The layers will occur because each part of your blood has a different weight. Once the blood is in layers, the selected parts are removed. The rest of your blood and other fluids will be returned to you through the other side of the catheter (or through the other needle).
How long is the procedure?
The length of time needed for the procedure depends on the reason for the apheresis procedure. Therapeutic procedures usually take 2-3 hours, however the amount of time for your procedure may be shorter or longer.
You will not be alone during the procedure. A nurse will be at your bedside during the entire time.
What can I expect during the procedure?
You will be connected to the blood cell separator for a couple of hours. Because of this, it is a good idea to use the bathroom before the procedure starts. If you need to use the bathroom during the procedure, our staff will help you use a bedpan or urinal.
During the procedure, some people feel lightheaded, faint, nauseated, cold or feel tingling in their lips or fingers. If you feel any of these, let your nurse know right away. DO NOT BE ALARMED - THIS IS TEMPORARY. To pass the time during the procedure, you may want to watch television, listen to music or read.
What can I expect after the procedure?
You may feel a little tired or stiff after the procedure. These feelings should not last long.
If you had an outpatient procedure (where you did not stay in the hospital overnight), your nurse will go over instructions for your self-care at home. If you had an inpatient procedure (where you stayed in the hospital) you will be monitored by your nurse on the Unit.
What if I have questions?
If you have any questions, please call us at the Queen’s Infusion Treatment Center at 691-4570.
For emergencies, you should call your physician or go directly to the nearest emergency department.
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