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Get the spin on therapeutic apheresis

Date: 09/16/2019

Bangor, Maine (September 16, 2019) — Since 2011, the Therapeutic Apheresis program at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center has grown from 50 treatments per year to more than 320. This therapy is used to treat patients with neuromuscular disease, auto-immune issues, certain types of anemia, and cancer. The treatment separates and filters blood to remove harmful substances from the body, such as proteins that attack parts of the patient’s own body.

On Tuesday, September 17, National Apheresis Awareness Day, staff members, visitors, and patients are encouraged to stop by Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center between 10 am and 2 pm to see a demo of a plasma procedure, learn more, and ask questions.

“We are proud to have a robust therapeutic apheresis program to serve the people in the northern two-thirds of Maine,” says Kael Mikesell, DO, medical director, Patient Blood Management. “Having this type of program in a rural area like eastern Maine is certainly the exception and not the rule. This allows patients in this region to get treatment close to home rather than traveling to a larger city.”

The specially trained apheresis team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center customizes plans for each patient using state-of-the-art equipment that safely filters the blood while monitoring for necessary transfusions. Procedures include red blood cell exchanges, white blood cell depletion, platelet depletion, and plasma exchange.

In the last few years, the apheresis team has continually sought out education sessions to learn new procedures requested through the program. They offer treatment for Myasthenia Gravis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Babesosis, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, Sickle Cell Disease, Acute Leukemia, and many more.

Learn more about our program by visiting: