Hemapheresis is concerned with the separation of blood. It is not only able to separate cells from the blood fluid (plasma) and vice versa plasma from the cells (primary separation), but also (secondary separation, differential separation) cellular blood components and plasma constituents. Thus it can be usefully applied in many areas of medicine such as internal medicine (mainly haematology, oncology, nephrology), transfusion medicine, neurology, dermatology, ophthalmology, otology etc.
Techniques applied are centrifugation and filtration.
Centrifugation is used for cytapheresis and plasmaseparation, whereas filtration is limited to plasmaseparation.
Hemapheresis is indicated for:
  • Cytapheresis treatments
  • Platelet and granulocyte donations
  • Stem cell donations and leukocyte differential preparation
  • Plasma exchange therapies
  • Plasma treatments using plasma differential separation

Hemapheresis offers mainly palliative therapies, ranging from an improvement of the quality of life to live saving measures. Hemapheresis is performed under the supervision of the regional health authorities like any other medical practice, clinic or hospital. If hemapheresis techniques are applied in transfusion medicine, additional legal requirements and guidelines of the regional and national boards and transfusion societies are observed. With the development of the European Union, national responsibilities will be replaced from rules and regulations of the European Community.

Tasks, Aims and Purposes of the ESFH

According to the bylaws, the ESFH is a European non-profit organization.
The purposes of the Society are:

  1. To function as an European Society for all professionals, involved and interested in apheresis.
  2. To make a safe and adequate hemapheresis technique for the collection or removal of blood components available to donors and patients in blood banks, hospitals and other institutions.
  3. To establish safe and efficient hemotherapy with blood components and alternatives.
  4. To encourage, advance and certify high standards of administrative and technical performance in the field of hemapheresis to apheresis units in blood banks, hospitals and other institutions.
  5. To foster scientific investigation, clinical application and exchanges of information and ideas, relatingto hemapheresis, hemotherapy and allied fields in clinical and laboratory medicine.
  6. To educate nurses, technicians and physcians in the field of hemapheresis
  7. All other purposes which benefit safe and adequate hemapheresis and hemotherapy practice in patient or donor care.
  8.  Cooperation with other related National and International scientific organisations in the field of hemapheresis.
  9. Cooperation with the European authorities in the field of hemapheresis.
  10. Organisation of scientific and educational meetings in the field of hemapheresis.
  11. Development and publication of guidelines and recommendations in the field of hemapheresis.
  12. To function as an European Society for all professionals, involved and interested in haemapheresis

The ESFH holds regular meetings and educational meetings with a General Assembly every 2 years at a time and place designated by the Executive Board
Board of directors  (last election during General Assembly in Istanbul, September 2022)
The board consists of the president, president-elect, immediate past-president (who serves as a vice-president), secretary, treasurer and of individual members (Committes) - when elected.
The ESFH board conducts all necessary business of the society.
ESFH President  Luca Pierelli (IT)
ESFH Past President Miquel Lozano (ES) 
ESFH  President Elect  Gerda Leitnerr (AT)
ESFH Treasurer  Andreas Buser (CH)
ESFH Secretary Hans Vrielink (NL)
ESFH Allied Health Professionals representance Ingrid E.M. de Beer-Wekking (NL)  since 2015

Bi-Annual meetings
2022 Istanbul (Turkey)
2021 Austria Hybrid (postponed from 2020, Vienna)
2018 Valencia (Spain)
2016 Paris (France)
2014 Florence (Italy)
2012 The Hague (The Netherlands)
2010 Interlaken (Switzerland)
2008 Duesseldorf (Germany)
2005 Antalya (Turkey)
2003 Prague (Czech Rep)
2001 Riva del Garda (Italy) 
1999 Malmö (Sweden)
1997 Dijon (France)
1995 Vienna (Austria)
1993 Aberdeen (UK) 
1991 Würzburg (Germany) 
1989 Uppsala (Sweden)
1987 Cologne (Germany)
1985 Budapest (HU)
Former Congress Dijon (France)...