Vascular access practices for therapeutic apheresis: Results of a survey

Yvette C. Tanhehco, Nicole D. Zantek, Mohamed Alsammak, Vishesh Chhibber, Yanhua Li, Joanne Becker, Ding W. Wu, Tisha Foster, Gay Wehrli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Obtaining vascular access (VA) is a critical part of the therapeutic apheresis (TA) treatment plan. Currently, there are no guidelines for VA decision-making and maintenance related to TA procedures.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A 28-question survey to gather qualitative information regarding VA practices was distributed to the American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) 2018 Annual Meeting attendees and all ASFA members for voluntary participation. The descriptive analyses were reported as the number and frequency of responses for each question.

RESULTS: Total participation was 206 with 147 (71.4%) answering some or all 16 VA focused questions. The majority of respondents were nurses or physicians (89.0%) at sites providing ≥100 procedures. The most common TA procedures were plasma exchange, red cell exchange, and leukocytapheresis. The VA evaluation was predominantly performed by the TA service (80.3%, 118/147). The majority of TA physicians and/or providers do not insert (91.7%, 132/144) or remove (81.2%, 117/143) VA catheters. When an emergent TA procedure is needed, the majority of respondents felt <2 hours was an acceptable turnaround time for VA placement (64.3%, 92/143). The most common anticoagulant for locking catheters and/or ports was heparin. The majority of TA services (54.3%, 76/140) collect data on aborted procedures due to catheter/line/port problems unrelated to infection, but only 41.4% (58/140) collect data on infections.

CONCLUSION: VA contributes significantly to the overall risks associated with and the safety of TA. Our survey shows that there is substantial variation but common themes in TA VA practices. Several areas for future research may be identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-578
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of clinical apheresis
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Yvette C. Tanhehco has financial interest in Leukocytes LLC; Nicole D. Zantek has financial interest in Endo International PLC and Boston Scientific and research funding from Octapharma. All other authors have no potential conflict of interest.

Funding Information:
We would like to thank all the members of the ASFA Physicians Committee, Attending Physician Subcommittee, for their contributions during the conference calls and ASFA staff for their assistance in implementing the survey.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • anticoagulant
  • catheter
  • peripheral veins
  • port
  • venous access

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Vascular access practices for therapeutic apheresis: Results of a survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this