STEPS IN THE TREATMENT PROCESS
- Physician prescribes treatment and is provided with a collection and infusion schedule.
- Patient arrives at Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center for apheresis collection.
- Following the apheresis procedure, the patient cells are shipped to Dendreon for processing.
- Three days later, the treated cells are shipped back to the physician's office for reinfusion to the patient.
- The collection and infusion process are repeated two more times for a complete treatment regimen.
PREPARING FOR A COLLECTION PROCEDURE
Please bring a valid photo ID for the identification process and, to the extent possible, please be sure to eat well and be well-hydrated prior to the donation procedure. This will help improve the quality of your veins and help you feel more comfortable during and after the apheresis collection.
An apheresis collection can take up to 3 hours to complete. It's a good idea to use the restroom immediately prior to your appointment or upon arrival at the Blood Center. During the procedure, urinals will be supplied if necessary.
The collection process will take place in a private room, with seating available for a spouse, family member or companion who may wish to accompany the patient during the collection.
DURING THE COLLECTION PROCEDURE
After an identification process, vital signs, and a hemoglobin test, the patient will recline in a donation chair where he will remain for the duration of the collection. A specially trained nurse will gain access to the patient's bloodstream by either using needles or a central venous catheter. The patient's blood will be drawn into an apheresis collection machine that will separate and collect the white cells from the remaining components, and then returns the red cells, platelets, and plasma back to the patient.
Only a small amount of the patient's blood is drawn into the apheresis equipment at a time, so the process will repeat itself until a sufficient quantity of white blood cells have been diverted into the collection bag. (Usually about 2-3 hours.)
Following the collection, the nurse will wrap a bandage around the patient's forearms, covering the point of needle insertion. (This bandage must remain in place for at least two hours.) Following a brief period of observation and refreshments, you will be released with instructions to drink plenty of fluids, eat well and avoid strenuous activity.