Erythropheresis, also known as erythrocytapheresis, is a type of “pheresis” or medical technology. The medical procedure of erythropheresis exclusively separates the red blood cells from the blood through an apparatus. A patient’s blood is passed through a medical apparatus, separating the red blood cells and returning the rest to the circulation. 


The most commonly used process in separating or isolating the red blood cells is a method called centrifugation. In this process, the whole blood is spun around in a centrifuge bowl, and its bottom part is where the red blood cells or erythrocytes will start to gather. These are then isolated, and the rest of the blood can be returned to circulation.

Centrifugation is commonly used because the volume of erythrocytes has the highest percentage over all the constituents of blood. Since red blood cells have the highest exact weight compared to other solid substances in the blood, it can be easily isolated with centrifugation. 

Centrifugal sedimentation

Centrifugal sedimentation is the most popular method when it comes to the medical process of erythrocytapheresis. With this method, the donor or patient’s blood is gathered and prepared into a concentrate of erythrocytes that contain a high measure of hematocrit. This depleted, pre-sifted blood is gathered in an appropriate supply and siphoned into a centrifuge machine. The radial power will isolate the red blood cells from the blood’s other components because of their high explicit weight. These cells would then be ready to be gathered. Another step will prompt the expulsion of plasma parts, which will filter and concentrate the red blood cells. At that point, the rest of the blood will be transfused once again into the blood donor or patient.

Developmental methods

The progression of centrifugation and layer filtration techniques is fundamental to the improvement of erythrocytapheresis. Moreover, the method of isolating blood on devices containing slender channels has been distinguished as a potentially applicable separation technique for red blood cells. Other erythrocyte and plasma isolation procedures are currently being investigated.


Restorative erythrocytapheresis is regularly used to take out erythrocytes in patients encountering complications from sickle cell disease. The aberrant red blood cells are taken out while the bloodstream’s remainder is recirculated to the bloodstream. Patients suffering from severe symptoms of malaria likewise undergo erythrocytapheresis. After the mutated red blood cells are taken out, the patient would then be transfused with healthy red blood cells.

Erythrocytapheresis or erythropheresis can likewise be applied for blood drives or donations. The method is usually done by applying an automated assortment of red blood cells, which includes separating two erythrocytes units. This process is frequently referred to as “double red cell apheresis” or simply “double reds.” The usage of smaller needles and an easier schedule for donating blood are advantageous to the blood donor with erythrocytapheresis. This serves as an advantage for the blood banks because the need for staffing, data entry, and testing is no longer applicable.

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