Dr. Rasheed Balogun, associate professor at the University of Virginiaâ€™s School of Medicine, was appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Society for Apheresis at the May 2013 Annual General Meeting. ASFA is an organization of physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals whose mission is to advance apheresis medicine for patients, donors and practitioners through education, evidence-based practice, research and advocacy.
Therapeutic apheresis, also called hemapheresis, is the separation of whole blood into its major components and removal of the abnormal, pathogenic component. Types include plasma exchange (plasmapheresis), removal of white blood cells (leukapheresis), removal of platelets (thrombocytapheresis), and removal of red blood cells erythrocytapheresis). The process is currently used as measure of last resort when conventional therapies are unsuccessful in controlling a chronic, debilitating, or potentially fatal disease. Its primary purpose is to modify the pathologic process so that other treatments can be more effective.