Dialyzer-augmented whole blood and plasma exchange for patients with hepatic or hepatorenal failure
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We have utilized new methods of dialyzer-augmented whole blood and plasma exchange tranfusion in the treatment of hepatic coma. The method employs the new fast flow Buselmeier shunt so that the exchange can be done from a peripheral radial artery shunt site rather than a shunt site in a more major vessel, such as the brachial artery. The method employs in-line dialysis of citrated (CPD) blood or plasma to normalize pH, electrolytes, and blood sugar while infusion heparinization decreases heparin requirements. The application of a single roller pump to the administration and withdrawal lines (placed in opposite directions) helps equalize inflow and outflow where whole blood exchange is done while identical opposing pumps accomplish the same with plasma exchange. The administration of albumin and metaraminol bitartate prevents hypotension due to fluid shifts or compartmental venous dilatation. A closed circuit which does not require disconnection throughout the 30- 60-minute whole blood exchange or the 2 1/2-hour plasma exchange decreases the risk of septic contamination to both medical staff and patients.
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