Aphresis Unit

The Joint Clinical Research Center (JCRC) has been conducting therapeutic Apheresis procedures since 2017, the only facility in Uganda so far. JCRC offers the apheresis service using a Spectra Optia Apheresis machine. Apheresis is a medical procedure that involves the drawing of blood from an individual and passing that blood through a machine that is able to separate the key individual components of the blood. The blood component of clinical interest is then removed or replaced, while the other components of the blood are infused back in the individual.  Red blood cell exchange (RBCX) is the removal of defected, infected or excessive red blood cells and simultaneous replacing these with red blood cells or appropriate fluid while Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) is the removal of plasma to remove/decrease disease mediator and simultaneous replacement with appropriate fluid. Currently JCRC is conducting red blood cell exchange procedures for clients who have complications resulting from sickle cell disease (SCD) and total plasma exchange procedures for clients who present with autoimmune diseases like Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). The Spectra Optia apheresis unit can however be used for other indications. JCRC recently acquired a second apheresis machine known as a TRIMA machine that will be used in plasma collections. We plan to use it in collection of convalescent plasma from patients recently recovered from COVID-19. This will be used for both research and therapeutic purposes for research purposes.