St. Michael’s Hospital today became the first in North America to use a novel blood-cleaning procedure for a kidney patient that will allow him to receive a transplant from a donor with a different blood type.
Transplants involving a donor and recipient with different blood types are rare. Most people have natural antibodies in their blood that would cause their immune system to reject an organ from someone with a different blood type.
The procedure used today is called plasmapheresis and is similar to kidney dialysis, which removes waste products from the blood. Plasmapheresis separates plasma from patient’s blood, and runs it through a column-shaped device containing synthetic carbohydrate beads that trap the blood group antibodies. Continue reading