Therapeutic apheresis does not have to be scary! Jeff Winters helps us understand the essentials of this ever-expanding part of Transfusion Medicine.

Jeff Winters

Dr. Jeff Winters

It is very common for trainees and practitioners of Transfusion Medicine to be uncomfortable with therapeutic apheresis (TA) procedures. Since TA is not always performed by Transfusion Medicine personnel in all hospitals, we may never really be involved in it (or have, at best, limited exposure). As a result, the whole process may feel like speaking in an unfamiliar language. Standardized exams, however, may demand that learners be very familiar with details therapeutic apheresis.

He LOVES This Stuff!

Fortunately for us, Dr. Jeff Winters, director of the very busy therapeutic apheresis service at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, is an enthusiastic and willing guide! In this episode (the first of two on this topic), Dr. Winters takes us on a detailed tour through the basics of this sometimes mysterious-sounding discipline. He covers theoretical and practical aspects, and shares the secret of where you can find a truly AMAZING educational resource that you can and should get your hands on today. You will end this episode with a much clearer picture of how to approach these patients, and hopefully, you’ll be ready to dive even deeper into therapeutic apheresis (which you will get the chance to do in episode 026)!

About My Guest:

Dr. Jeff Winters is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. His postgraduate training included an Anatomic/Clinical Pathology residency at the University of Kentucky and a Transfusion Medicine/Blood Banking fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology, and Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine.

Dr. Winters is a Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in the Mayo College of Medicine. He is the Program Director of the Mayo Clinic Transfusion Medicine/Blood Banking Fellowship Program, Vice-chair of the Division of Transfusion Medicine, and Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Therapeutic Apheresis Treatment Unit.

Dr. Winters is actively involved in the American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) and previously served as the president of that organization. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Clinical Apheresis.

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DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this episode are those of my guest and I alone, and do not reflect those of the organizations with which either of us is affiliated. Neither Dr. Winters nor I have any financial disclosures relevant to today’s topic.

The images below are generously provided by Dr. Winters.

Winters Slide 1 - Apheresis vs. Dialysis
Winters Slide 2 - Separation of blood by apheresis
Winters Slide 3 - Main categories of Therapeutic Apheresis
Winters Slide 4 - Kinetics of plasma exchange
Winters Slide 5 - Categories I and II
Winters Slide 6 - Categories III and IV
Winters Slide 7 - Category I indications
Winters Slide 8 - Category II indications
Winters Slide 9 - Category III indications
Winters Slide 10 - Category IV indications ("the answer is no")
Winters Slide 11 - Recommendation grades
Winters Slide 12 - Replacement fluids in therapeutic apheresis

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