Apheresis for collection of Ebola convalescent plasma in Liberia.
PURPOSE: This report describes initiation of apheresis capability in Liberia, Africa to support a clinical trial of convalescent plasma therapy for Ebola Virus Disease. METHODS: A bloodmobile was outfitted in the United States as a four-bed apheresis unit with capabilities including pathogen reduction, electronic blood establishment computer system, designated areas for donor counseling and laboratory testing, and onboard electrical power generation. After air transport to Liberia, the bloodmobile was positioned at ELWA Hospital, Monrovia, and connected to the hospital's power grid. Liberian staff were trained to conduct donor screening, which included questionnaire and onsite blood typing and transfusion transmitted infection (TTI) testing, and plasma collection and processing. RESULTS: The bloodmobile was operational within 3 weeks after arrival of the advance team. Of 101 donors who passed the pre-screening questionnaire, 32 were deferred. Twenty-eight of ninty-nine tested survivors were deferred for positive transfusion transmitted infection (TTI) tests; twenty-one were positive for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or human immunodeficiency virus. The majority of donors had type O blood; all but one were Rh positive. Forty-three survivors donated at least once; eighty-nine apheresis attempts resulted in eighty-one successful collections. CONCLUSIONS: Apheresis capability was emergently established in Liberia to support an efficacy trial of Ebola Convalescent Plasma. Extensive cooperation among multinational team members, engineers, logisticians, and blood safety technical personnel at the operational site was required to surmount challenges to execution posed by logistical factors. The high proportion of positive TTI tests supported the use of a pathogen reduction system to enhance product safety. J. Clin. Apheresis 32:175-181, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Brown, JF; Rowe, K; Zacharias, P; van Hasselt, J; Dye, JM; Wohl, DA; Fischer, WA; Cunningham, CK; Thielman, NM; Hoover, DL
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