The Western Ukrainian Specialized Medical Center received a blood cell separator – crucial equipment for bone marrow transplant. We have purchased this expensive equipment, which costs 1.7 million UAH, for the transplant department we began to build in the previous year. Such equipment is available nowhere else in Western Ukraine.
While the department is still being built, the doctors tested the equipment on their colleagues who volunteered to be donors.
During a bone marrow transplant, not the bone marrow itself is transplanted, but the stem cells. The source of these stem cells for transplant is peripheral blood in 4 out of 5 cases. A blood cell separator is required to get those cells from the donor’s body. Then, the cells are frozen for further use in treatment. The cell collection procedure takes about four to five hours.
The separator works as follows: it takes human blood, then filters it, getting stem cells, and after that gives the blood back to the body. In the next step, the separator divides stem cells into special blood containers. During the transplant, a patient receives stem cells in a way that is similar to simple blood transfusion. After the surgery, stem cells find bone marrow and produce more cells, and as a result, the body can continue to function normally. The bone marrow transplant increases the effectiveness of cancer treatment and sometimes is the only way to cure it.
For two days, under the guidance of an instructor, the group of six doctors from the Western Ukrainian Specialized Children’s Medical Center learns to work with new equipment, take blood samples in real-time and analyze the results of work. The volunteer and blood donor is a hospital health worker.
Information about the bone marrow transplant project in Lviv:
The construction of the bone marrow transplant department in Lviv is the most ambitious and one of the most expensive projects in the medical sphere of Western Ukraine. The project is being implemented by the Zaporuka Charitable Foundation, which has been helping the families of children with cancer in Ukraine for 12 years. The partners of this project are also international organizations, the Italian foundations Rosa Pristina and Soleterre.
According to the project, facilities for stem cell extraction, sterile patient rooms with laminar airflow and HEPA-filtration system will be organized in the hospital, alongside technical areas to provide efficient equipment operation. The wards for the transplant department are not just ordinary patents’ rooms. Therefore, the criteria for their arrangement are extremely demanding because the patient must be in sterile conditions from 30 to 120 days after the transplant.
The future transplant department will be able to receive 12 children each year.
The renovation works in the department are now in progress. At the same time, educational events are taking place for medical workers involved in in the department’s work: study visits to the National Children’s Specialized Hospital OKHMATDYT have taken place, and a visit to the Italian hospitals is planned.
In the context of the project, Zaporuka has already purchased a plasma and stem cell thawer. This equipment is also required for bone marrow transplants.