We are happy we can introduce the research of our members. This time we introduce the research of Ugur Balaban from Turkey.

Ugur works as a research assistant in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy at Hacettepe University in Ankara. His research interests include drug pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics during therapeutic plasma exchange and renal replacement therapies, therapeutic drug monitoring, and antimicrobials. Currently, Ugur and the team from Department of Clinical Pharmacy, work on questionnaire study. They aim to contribute to the existing literature and increase awareness among clinicians regarding antimicrobial treatment practices in patients undergoing therapeutic plasma exchange.

Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE), a therapeutic procedure in which blood of the patient is passed through a medical device which separates out plasma from other components of blood. The plasma is removed and replaced with a suitable replacement fluid (e.g., human albumin, fresh frozen plasma). TPE aims to remove disease-associated pathogenic elements from the patient’s plasma, including autoantibodies, toxins and cytokines.

It is important to note that TPE not only removes pathogenic elements from the plasma but can also result in the removal of drugs. There are no definitive guidelines about antimicrobial drug removal by TPE or the appropriate antimicrobial drug dosing in patients undergoing concurrent TPE. Based on this, the purpose of this questionnaire study is to highlight treatment practices in patients receiving antimicrobial drug treatment and undergoing concurrent TPE, as well as clinicians’ knowledge and attitudes. The questionnaire is primarily aimed at physicians working in the departments of infectious diseases and clinical microbiology, as well as intensive/critical care. Furthermore, physicians from other departments are also encouraged to participate.

We as a clinical pharmacists could help Ugur and his team with distributing the questionnaire among a wide range of physicians we are collaborating with by sharing the link. For more information contact Ugur directly: ugurbalaban@hacettepe.edu.tr

Ugur Balaban, Prof. Dr. S. Kutay Demirkan, and Dr. Emre Kara (Faculty of Pharmacy at Hacettepe University in Ankara)