Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
SharePoint

Aga Khan University Hospital introduces a unique blood donation procedure

<span style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;">The Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi has introduced a rare procedure of extracting platelets from the blood of donors using a Trima Accel machine, making it the only hospital in East and Central Africa to offer the service. One-of-its-kind, the procedure known as platelet apheresis involves a process of separating blood into its various components that include; platelets, Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and plasma with some components being retained (platelets) while the rest are transfused back to the donor.</span><br style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;"/><br style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;">“The apheresis machine spins the blood to separate it, collects the most needed components and safely returns the remaining blood through the same sterile needle used for collection,” said Dr. Nancy Okinda, Programme Director and Clinical Pathologist/Haematologist at the Aga Khan University Hospital.Dr Okinda further explained that platelet transfusion is required in many clinical conditions like bleeding disorders, leukemia and cancer. In majority of the cases, an average of five to six units of platelets are needed.
</span><br style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;">
</span><br style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;">“To ensure that only a safe amount of blood is taken, the collection process is customised based on the donor’s physical size and platelet count among other factors. In order to guarantee blood donors comfort and enjoy their donation and experience, we use an ultramodern donor chair. It provides donors with the opportunity to relax while donating blood components to others. The entire donation process takes approximately one hour”, she added.</span><br style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;"/><br style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;">For one to qualify as an apheresis donor he, or she must be of general good health, be between 16 - 65 years old and weigh at least 45 Kgs. In addition, the donor should also avoid all fatty food and increase his fluid and calcium intake. Platelet apheresis has several advantages to both the donors and the recipient; to begin with, since only required components that are needed by the patient are extracted, the remaining components are returned back to the donors. Donors can help more patients as more platelet units can be extracted during the donation.</span><br style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;"/><br style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14.6667px;">One donor is required in Platelet Apheresis compared to six donors that would be used in a normal donation. This also translates to reduced exposure to antigens and also reduced risk of infection to the recipients. Another benefit is that apheresis collections are optimised based on donor and patient’s blood type, donors’ ability and desire to donate and the patients’ transfusion needs. With the help of these machines used in the spinning and separation of blood, the facility reduces time and labour of the technology that results to lower costs.

</span>
 

Contact Us

Aga Khan University Hospital, 3rd Parklands Avenue, Limuru Road, Nairobi, Kenya.

+254 (0) 20 366 2000

akuh.nairobi@aku.edu