Introduction: Pediatric apheresis (PA) has distinct characteristics compared to adult apheresis, and requires specialized knowledge and experience to perform safely, particularly in low-weight patients. As evidence-based medicine advances the field of therapeutic apheresis, increased attention must be paid to pediatric patients with conditions for which apheresis is indicated. Methods: An electronic survey of >5,000 potential participants throughout the world was conducted to ascertain the scope and the current state of practice. Results: The survey elicited 159 responses from 12 countries; 107 of the responses provided sufficient information for analysis. Participants performed an average of 176 PA procedures/year (range: 1-2,000). The types of PA procedures were therapeutic plasma exchange (92% of centers), red cell exchange (86%), leukocyte depletion (87%) and peripheral blood hematopoietic progenitor cell collection (72%). More than 65% of the centers had treated children older than 5 years with PA. Many centers had also performed PA on younger children; 40% have treated patients <12 months of age; 61% had treated patients 1-5 years old. 36% of centers reported that they would perform apheresis regardless of patient weight; 18% used a 5 kg threshold, 11% used 5-10 kg, and 17% used 10 kg as their weight threshold. Conclusion: This report is the largest single survey of centers performing PA. The results provide information about the scope and diversity of PA and identify areas where considerable variability in practice exists. Further exploration of these differences could establish best practices in PA through international research and collaboration. J. Clin. Apheresis 29:120-126, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- plasma exchange
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