UCSF's pediatric Apheresis Program provides care for children who have sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and other blood disorders, as well as those who need or have recently had a stem cell transplant. Apheresis is the broad term for various methods of separating blood into its different components in order to remove the one part that has a problem and return the healthy portions to the body.
The apheresis process can look and feel scary, which is why we've worked hard to make our facility a safe and calming environment for kids. Our team of hematology and oncology specialists and apheresis operators specialize in working with children. They know how to reassure children and help them stay calm through the needle sticks, placement of IVs and two-to-three-hour procedures.
Our program offers a variety of apheresis procedures, many of which our doctors helped pioneer. We provide different types of red blood cell transfusions for patients with iron overload, sickle cell disease, thalassemia or other conditions that require frequent whole-blood transfusions.
Our renowned specialists offer extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) for children who have developed graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after receiving a bone marrow transplant. We do stem cell collections for cancer patients anticipating bone marrow transplant, and plasma pheresis for patients with autoimmune disease to remove antibodies that may be causing the disorder.
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What to Bring
- Photo I.D.
- Health insurance card
- Insurance authorization, if required
- Doctor's referral, if required
- Recent test results related to your child's condition
- List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
- List of questions you may have
- Device or paper for taking notes
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