Apheresis

Apheresis is the process of separating blood into its individual elements in order to collect or remove the required element. The Apheresis Service is part of the Tissue Establishment of St. James’s Hospital, which must, by law, meet the requirements of EU Directive 2004/23/EC in relation to the donation, procurement, testing, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human tissues and cells. The service is licensed by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (www.hpra.ie) and is subject to mandatory inspections every two years.

The apheresis room can cater for two patients at a time and is located in the Haematology Oncology Day Care Centre.

The care of all apheresis patients is overseen by a consultant haematologist. Scheduling of stem cell procedures takes place at the weekly transplant meeting in consultation with the bone marrow transplant coordinators.

Services

On arrival in the Haematology Oncology Day Care Centre (HODC), you will be greeted by a clerical officer at reception, who will ask you to confirm your name, address, date of birth, phone number, next of kin details, religion, GP and insurance status.

  • Once registered, a chart with all relevant personal details is prepared.
  • An identification bracelet is generated. This must be worn by all patients undergoing treatment or procedure(s) in the HODC.
  • The clerical officer checks whether bloods have been requested for the patient and orders the requested tests via the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system.
  • If no bloods have been requested, the patient waits until called for their procedure. Their chart is given directly to the apheresis nurse.
  • Prior to apheresis, a preliminary nursing assessment is conducted. This involves a general assessment of the patient’s physical and psychological well-being, weight, height and vital signs, as appropriate.
  • Standards for treatments/procedures are outlined in specific protocols:
    • Apheresis.
    • Stem Cell Transplant/Donor Lymphocyte (white blood cell) Transplant.
    • Administration of Blood Products.
    • Medication Management.
    • PICC (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter) Line Insertion .
  • Following treatment, the patient is given an appointment/treatment slip for their next treatment date. The nurse may request specific blood tests and/or treatments needed at the patient’s next visit. The nurse will also provide any ongoing information/education that the patient requires.
  • The patient brings the appointment/treatment slip to reception where the clerical officer will book the next visit on the Patient Administration System (PAS).
  • Blood tests required for the next visit are recorded on the EPR system.
  • The patient is then given an appointment card with the date and time for their next procedure.

Team

The HODC is managed by the HOPe (Haematology, Oncology and Palliative Care) Directorate Management Team. Given the nature of its services, the HODC has a specialist nursing and administrative team that works closely with the wider Multi-Disciplinary Team to provide integrated patient-centred care.

  • Clinical leadership is provided by the HOPe Clinical Director.
  • Nursing leadership is provided by the Clinical Nurse Manager. The nursing team consists of staff nurses, clinical nurse managers and site-specific clinical nurse specialists teams:
    • Chemotherapy Nurse Specialists.
    • Oncology Nurse Specialists.
    • Haematology Nurse Specialists.
    • Bone Marrow Transplant Nurse Specialists.
    • Clinical Trials Nurse Specialists.
    • Health Care Attendants.
  • Administrative leadership is provided by the Administrative Team Manager and the Deputy Business Manager. The administration team includes:
    • Clinic Coordinators.
    • Secretarial Staff.
  • Pharmacy leadership is provided by the Chief II Oncology Pharmacist.
  • Support staff, including porters, cleaning staff and catering staff, are under the management of General Support Services.