Thanks to the amazing generosity of our supporters, we are thrilled to announce that we recently managed to reach our target of £100k for our current appeal!
The 'Wessex Plasma Therapy Appeal' was launched in October 2017 and was to specifically fund a second Spectra Optia (plasma exchange) machine for the Wessex Neurological Centre, along with a Clinical Nurse Specialist.
We are delighted to say that this amazing piece of equipment is now in situ in the Neurology Day Unit, and is providing an essential service to day-case and neurology ward patients living with a range of long-term conditions, from across the Wessex Region, whilst also continuing to treat critically-ill patients on NICU suffering from life-threatening neurological diseases.
Currently the service runs Monday-Thursday 8am-6pm under the expert care of Plasma Exchange Clinical Nurse Specialist, Carley Donovan, who told us;
“Since receiving the Plasma Exchange Optia Machine and having the software installed on the 10th June, the unit now has the ability to double the amount of treatments that can be performed. I received a Telephone call mid-morning from a consultant in clinic in regards to a patient who has myasthenia and had increased symptoms including swallowing difficulties. Due to having the second machine, this patient was able to commence treatment and have a plasma exchange on the same day in the afternoon”.
Plasma exchange involves separating and removing plasma from the rest of the blood by spinning it through a centrifugal machine. The plasma is then replaced with a solution called human albumin solution, which is made from donated human blood. Some neurological diseases, including a number of neurological conditions can cause the production of antibodies. These antibodies are produced by a fault in the body’s immune system and can cause damage to the nerves and muscles. Plasma exchange works by removing these damaging antibodies.
It was lovely to meet one of the patients who is currently benefiting from this treatment, Mr Terence Hiller, who told us “this treatment has saved my life”. Mr Hiller was receiving his second round of plasma exchange for Autoimmune Encephalitis, after a successful first course just a few weeks ago.
It is fantastic news that the 'Wessex Plasma Exchange Appeal' is now complete and this has only been possible thanks to the amazing fundraising of all our supporters, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped make this happen.