Background and Objectives: Erythrocytapheresis and leukapheresis (LPE) of small children are logistically complex and many centres are reluctant to perform these procedures. In children, both sickle cell and leukaemic emergencies demand prompt action to prevent additional morbidity but detailed protocols for small children are lacking, and often are performed using guidelines shown to work in larger patients. We report a 3-year experience with children weighing 11-25 kg at a large academic medical centre. Materials and Methods: All patients were treated with the COBE® Spectra apheresis system; circuit was primed with blood not adjusted for haematocrit and anticoagulant citrate dextrose A was used as anticoagulation. Procedures were performed in the paediatric intensive care unit by apheresis nursing staff. Results: Twenty-five apheresis procedures in 19 patients were performed; 17 of 19 patients presented with sickle cell-related acute complications and two (2/19) with newly diagnosed acute leukaemia and hyperleucocytosis. None of the patients required medications during the procedures. Vital signs and clinical condition remained stable and did not worsen during or postapheresis. One patient had a delayed haemolytic transfusion reaction 1 week posterythrocytapheresis as he developed alloantibodies as a result of the procedure. All sickle cell patients achieved a target haematocrit of 21-30% and Haemoglobin A of ≥68%. Both leukaemia patients who underwent LPE had no further signs of leukostasis and achieved marked reductions in leucocyte counts. Conclusions: Apheresis of children weighing 11-25 kg can be safely performed without increased morbidity. We outline a protocol that can be used to perform apheresis with minimal complications.
- Anticoagulant citrate dextrose A
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