When a patient has too much of a GOOD thing, that can be a BAD thing! Transfusion Medicine professionals may assist our clinician friends in urgently removing red cells, plasma, and/or platelets. Dr. Jeff Winters explains why YOU need to know about these procedures.

Jeff Winters

Dr. Jeff Winters

Patients who have excess white blood cells (usually due to leukemia) or platelets (usually in myeloproliferative diseases like Essential Thrombocythemia or Polycythemia Vera) present unique challenges to transfusion medicine professionals, as do those with sickle cell disease (SCD) in need of exchange transfusion. As a result, different facilities handle these in different ways in the United States. In fact, in many cases, the Transfusion Medicine department may not even be involved in the treatment. This can leave blood bank physicians and laboratory scientists feeling “out of the loop.”

Why You Need to Know

Dr. Jeff Winters leads a very busy therapeutic apheresis service at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN (approximately 3,000 procedures annually). He has vast experience dealing with these stressful situations, such as the 1 am call for emergency leukocytapheresis in a patient with an extremely high white blood cell count, or the patient with bleeding despite a 2,000,000/uL platelet count, or the sickle cell patient with acute chest syndrome in need of exchange transfusion. These situations often directly involve transfusion medicine professionals, even if the actual procedure is performed by someone else! You need to know the “why” and “why NOT” behind red cell exchange (“Red”), leukocytapheresis (“White”), and thrombocytapheresis (“Yellow”), and there are few, if any, more passionate about explaining than Jeff Winters!

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.

Free CE

This podcast episode offers a FREE continuing education activity where you can earn the following types of credit: 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM, 1 ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Contact Hour (including Florida Clinical Laboratory Credit), and American Board of Pathology Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs) for Continuing Certification (CC), formerly MOC.

To receive credit, review the accreditation information and related disclosures, please visit Transfusion News Continuing Education on Wiley Health Learning.

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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 relevant financial disclosures.

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