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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 163-167

Adverse effects of intermittent flow therapeutic plasmapheresis in neurology patients in a resource constrained setting

Department of Transfusion Medicine and Haematology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sukanya Baruah
Department of Transfusion Medicine and Haematology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/GJTM.GJTM_1_19

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Introduction: Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) aims at removing harmful substances from patient's plasma. It has become a treatment option in a variety of neurological disorders with good outcome. In the last decade, there has been an increase in the number and spectrum of indications for therapeutic apheresis. Aims and Objectives: To analyse the complications of plasmapheresis patients with varied neurological disorders in a tertiary care neurocentre to evaluate the safety of the procedure. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of complications in all patients who underwent TPE for various neurological disorders in the Transfusion Medicine Department from April 2013 to May 2014 was carried out. Patient record files and TPE protocol forms were analysed to collect the data about various complications during the procedure. Results: A total of 1912 procedures were carried out on 399 patients. Guillain Barre Syndrome was the most common indication. A total of 145( 36.3%) patients had adverse reactions. Mild reactions like rash (40%), chill and rigor (21%), cramps (6.8%) were found in 98 cases (68%). Moderate reactions included hypotension (17.9%), access site pain and hematoma (7.5%), vasovagal attack (3.44%), seizure (1.37%) etc. Severe life threatning reactions were not seen in any of the cases. Conclusion: Our results advocate TPE as a safe and effective procedure in neurological disorders. Most complications are mild and can be managed effectively. Complications can be further reduced by careful patient monitoring, use of prophylactic calcium and use of albumin as replacement fluid.

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