H.E.L.P. (Heparin-induced Extracorporeal LDL Precipitation) Apheresis is an extracorporeal (=outside of the patient's body) blood treatment that has been in use for over 30 years with great success. It was initially developed as a treatment for microcirculation and blood flow issues and excess cholesterol. The treatments biggest strength is to resolve microcirculation and blood flow disorders whilst at the same time removing hundreds of pathogens, inflammation proteins, viral persistence/spike proteins and cholesterol+autoantibodies from the blood.
'During the H.E.L.P. Apheresis treatment numerous inflammatory mediators (CRP, cytokines, etc.) as well as any virus components/spike proteins present are filtered out. The cleaned blood is returned to the patient.
It has been shown in Long Covid patients that microclots are dissolved by H.E.L.P. Apheresis and that the spike protein is filtered out by binding to heparin. The number of rounds of apheresis required varies from patient to patient and also depends on the severity of the symptoms.
Microcirculation and blood flow disorders are an official indication of H.E.L.P. Apheresis.'
(Source: B.Braun Germany / B.Braun Switzerland)
Scientific sources for Help Apheresis used in Long Covid and microcirculation/blood flow disorders in Long Covid and H.E.L.P. Apheresis resolving microcirculation and blood flow disorders (click on the respective link):
How does H.E.L.P. Apheresis work?
'H.E.L.P. (heparin-induced extracorporeal LDL precipitation) apheresis is a treatment method that has been in use for decades and was initially developed as a treatment option for refractory lipid metabolism disorders. Over time, other medical indications were added that are a result of a microcirculation and blood flow disorder, such as idiopathic hearing loss and dry macular degeneration as well as Multiple Sclerosis.
During the H.E.L.P. procedure, the plasma is first of all separated from the other components that make up the blood. Heparin and an acetate buffer are then added, which lower the plasma’s pH. This changes the surface charge of LDL-C, Lp(a) and other substances, which leads to increased binding to the heparin used. In addition to LDL, the process also filters out various inflammatory mediators (CRP, cytokines, etc.) as well as any virus components or spike proteins present. The resulting precipitates are filtered out and subsequently removed from the plasma in circulation through the machine.'
'The excess heparin is eliminated by adsorption. The physiologic pH is then restored by removing the buffer solution via dialysis. Finally, the purified blood is returned to the patient at the end of the treatment.
Based on recent literature, the presumed formation of microclots in blood samples from healthy subjects can be made visible under a microscope by adding spike protein. It has already been shown in Long Covid patients that these microclots are dissolved by H.E.L.P. apheresis and that the spike protein is filtered out by binding to heparin.
The number of rounds of apheresis required varies from patient to patient and also depends on the severity of the symptoms.'
Help Apheresis removes/adsorbs the following substances from the blood:
- Fibrinogen, other clotting factors and microclots (this increases the microcirculation by 20% and frees the small blood vessels)
- Inflammatory modulators/proteins like CRP, Cytokines and Chemokines (which reduces inflammation)
- SarsCov2 viruses and spike proteins/fragments (by binding to the heparin used)
- Hundreds of protein based pathogens
- LDL and Lp(a) cholesterol (improves endothelium function and fibrinolysis) + autoantibodies attached to it
Operating Principle of H.E.L.P. Apheresis
(Source B.Braun Melsungen AG)
Help Apheresis to us seems to be a bit of an unfortunate choice of term:
Apheresis means 'separation': A separation of the big blood parts (white and red blood cells and blood platelets) from the rest of the blood (plasma).
But that is where the similarities of Help Apheresis with ANY OTHER type of apheresis end.
Help Apheresis is in fact a 'live laboratory process' in a machine circuit.
Unlike any other form of apheresis it uses 400.000 units of heparin (heparan sulfate to be exact) in the extracorporeal machine circuit and it turns the blood plasma temporarily acidic to ensure the highest technically possible levels of selective pathogen adsorption in that environment. For one Help apheresis session 30 kilogram of one-use parts are used.
Help Apheresis is the ONLY type of apheresis specifically designed to resolve coagulation issues and interfere into the coagulation cascade. It increases microcirculation (blood flow in the small capillaries/blood vessels) by 20% whilst reducing the viscosity of the blood by 10% per session.
It is a highly selective (by means of adsorption - heparin precipitation) form of apheresis and has higher adsorption rates than any other form of apheresis. It does NOT use filtration (which is non-selective) but it uses adsorption/precipitation - this means it only takes out the pathogens (viruses/viral spike, bacteria, fungus, inflammation proteins, cholesterol+autoantibodies and hundreds of pathogens more) but leaves al l other substances in the blood - hormones, messengers etc.
You can view/download our full presentation about Help Apheresis and Combination Therapy here:
Help Apheresis has been successfully applied for:
- Long Covid
- Post Vac Syndrome / Vaccine Injury
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Other illnesses where microcirculation issues/blood flow issues, viral or bacterial persistence, inflammation proteins, cholesterol+autoantibodies or toxins/pathogens are present
If a patient meets the requirements (these are clarified by a questionnaire), there is a detailed patient interview and assessment. The aim is to identify the severity of the symptoms and to clarify whether the prerequisites for using H.E.L.P. Apheresis in the sense of the intended use of the Plasmat Futura device are fulfilled.
The costs of around EUR 1700 per treatment are currently borne by the patient. Of course, the patient can apply individually to his or her health insurance company to have the costs covered.
H.E.L.P. apheresis is recognised in the EU and Switzerland for the indication of microcirculation and blood flow disorders and several other indications. The Plasmat Futura machines used for H.E.L.P. are EMA licensed and CE certified. Clinical studies for Help Apheresis in Long Covid have been published:
H.E.L.P. apheresis for Long Covid studies have been published here:
Related studies have been published here:
And a collection of sources which have published success rates can be found at the Long Covid Apheresis Community (LCA Community): https://lcacommunity.org/research
The results published by the LCA Community have been confirmed at the ISFA2023:
The symptoms of Long Covid are enormously varied. Any organ system can be affected. Treatments carried out so far suggest that many of these symptoms can be successfully treated by improving microcirculation/blood flow.
H.E.L.P. apheresis is generally very well tolerated and has few complications. As with any treatment, there are risks and side effects. However, these are very rare and easy to control. For example, there may be haematomas at the injection sites, a short-term so-called vasovagal reaction or temporary fatigue. From the 500.000 treatments undertaken in the last 30 years, over 200.000 have been scientifically documented - this makes H.E.L.P. one of the best researched and safest treatments there is.
Since 2023 we do offer Triple Anticoagulation Therapy for microcirculation and hyper-coagulation issues, but only under certain circumstances. The Triple Therapy needs constant monitoring of the blood to minimize the risk of (brain and gut) bleeding. A physical presence of the patient at the clinic of 3-4 months is therefore necessary. The often strong side effects from toxins and pathogens being released into the blood of the patient need to be controlled with steroids and antihistamines. We follow the original protocol that was published by Dr. Jaco Laubscher.
The differences between H.E.L.P. Apheresis and Triple Anticoagulation Therapy:
- If your local GP/PCP supports you and takes on the responsibility of constantly monitoring your blood while you are administered a combination of three anticoagulant medications at once (bleeding risk), the costs are lower than H.E.L.P. and you do not need to be present at the clinic for 3-4 months
- Patients often do suffer from constant side-effects of the Triple Therapy from toxins and pathogens being released into the blood. Steroids and antihistamines are a way to reduce them
- H.E.L.P. Apheresis has a higher safety profile with over 30 years of scientific data behind it
- H.E.L.P. Apheresis does not only remove the microclots from the blood but also does remove inflammation, viral spike protein, cholesterol+autoantibodies and hundreds of pathogens and furthermore it reduces the viscosity of the blood around 10% per treatment and increases the microcirculation by 20% in total.
We do only recommend Triple Anticoagulation Therapy in first 6 months after infection/onset and/or if your local GP/PCP supports and monitors it.
From our clinical experience H.E.L.P. Apheresis as part of the Combination Therapy is preferable and shows better results. The individually adapted Combination Therapy often does include anticoagulation and fibrinolytic protocols.
In Triple Therapy the body needs to deal with all the toxins and pathogens released from the microclots. Through H.E.L.P. Apheresis all toxins and pathogens are taken out of the blood by the apheresis machine and it furthermore does not only get rid of the microclots but does additionally remove inflammation proteins, viral spike protein, cholesterol+autoantibodies and hundreds of pathogens and reduces the viscosity of the blood around 10% per treatment whilst increasing the microcirculation by 20% in total. This means it has several modes of action instead of just a single mode like triple therapy.
- No stinging with needles required (sometimes with Long Covid damaged veins several tries with the needles despite ultrasound are needed, sometimes there can't be any proper blood flow established, sometimes veins shrink under stress or from a bradykinin shock)
- No constant kneading of therapy/stress ball to maintain blood circulation at needed level needed (ideal if you have fatigue)
- No constant visibility of blood/needles (good if you have anxiety/fear of needles and blood)
- You don't need to keep your arms with needles inside still for hours
- No risk of penetrating the backside of the vein if you accidentally lift your arms
- You can sleep during treatment
- You can go to toilet during treatment
- You don't have to get needles placed for every treatment
- The blood flow volume is higher - 20% more efficiency, higher amount of plasma treated, shorter treatment duration, less burden on the body
- You can eat and watch a movie or even work on the laptop during treatment - your hands are free
- In case of low blood flow the catheter is closer at the bodies center (upper leg) that enables treatment even with lower blood pressure
- works as constant reminder so you will pace much better
- Cost of 1000 Euros (this 'pays for itself' after 4-5 treatments as with catheters in average 20-25% more plasma volume can be processed and the constant flow speed technically leads to a higher adsorption rate)
- Can feel inconvenient at times
- Restricted movement (max. a few hundred meters radius a day or less is recommended to avoid irritation of the vein) - but many patients reported in return it helped to pace well
- Medical risks: 4 in 100.000 will suffer from nerve damage/irritation next to the vein when the catheter is placed and the risk of clotting is increased (which can be minimized by the anticoagulants being administered and by not moving too much). In rare cases the exit point can get inflamed and antibiotics need to be administered, waterproof covers and special catheters avoid that very well.
You can find explanation videos about H.E.L.P. Apheresis with apheresis needles access and with leg catheter access click here for videos
Quote from the Long Covid Apheresis Community: Dr. Irina Pavlik Marangos has vast experience in treating Long Covid and Post Vac, but also Lyme and MECFS, as well as other Post Viral Syndromes. A lot of insights and news which she shared with us - treatment modalities, Combination Therapy updates and new results and much more.
She only had one condition for giving an interview - keep it short and simple, otherwise our patients do not benefit from our talk. She truly understands how decreased cognitive function can affect us!
No wonder all our community members that were treated by her call her affectionately 'Dr. Irina'!'
Quote from the Long Covid Apheresis Community: 'Our expert interview with Dr. Beate Jaeger and Markus Klotz who were two of the first people who started to work tirelessly for us Long Covid, Post Vac Syndrome and Chronic Illness sufferers..they have treated hundreds of patients successfully.'
In this talk Markus and Jed discuss how Combination Therapy brought Jed from having to fly with assisted flying and oxygen support to our island to being almost symptom-free within 3 weeks. Jed had anticoagulation therapy, antiviral therapy and intravenous (IV) treatments of NAD+, Alphalipoic Acid and Glutathione/VitC/Magnesium combined with 5 Help Apheresis treatments. He suffered from a blend of vaccine injury with Long Covid. All his symptoms are gone after 3 weeks except minor fatigue and chest pain if he overexerts himself.
Jed talked to Markus in Pervolia, Larnaca in the Theta Restaurant
If you suffer from cognitive dysfunction/brainfog you can watch Jed's story in a 3min short summary here: Short Video
'I arrived here practically in a wheelchair, I had not been well for a very long time. I did all of my own research before I left Australia and Help Apheresis seemed to have the answers to help fix me. From the minute you walk into the clinic, the staff could not be more friendly. They seem to have blended the German efficiency and the Cypriot hospitality. It is such a warm environment to be treated, the staff is incredible, they put me so much at ease with their kindness. The treatment itself is not that invasive, especially if you have the catheter because it means you can have your hands free and read et cetera. Now after treatment Nr. 4 I feel fantastic, but I still have to finish the course of 6 treatments because the filters are still coming out blocked. Overall I can't thank the clinic enough, the treatment has been fantastic. Overall it has been a fantastic experience, I could not recommend it highly enough. When I realized there is a clinic in Cyprus, the fact that it is a beautiful island made the choice of me and my wife easy. It is a great place to recover and heal by the sea. My advice to other patients is to do your own research, work out if you have micro-clotting which is easy to understand if you follow the symptoms. And then do what it takes to get this treatment to get your life back.'
Stephen talked to us talk in Mazotos, Larnaca - 20 minutes drive from our clinic, in the appartement he and his wife Jane rented for their stay.
(For subtitles please push the CC button)
You can watch Stephen's full story here: Full Video
Stephen allowed us to film his medical treatment to give other patients an easy way of seeing the treatment with an apheresis catheter in detail before undergoing it themselves. You can watch the video here: Stephen's H.E.L.P. Apheresis treatment with an apheresis catheter
Verena had already tried every possible treatment when she came to our clinic, she even tried Immunoadsorption before and it helped her with the neurological symptoms she was having, but it didn't help with the fatigue. Unfortunately, three months after her Immunoadsorption, she got worse again as it’s effect was temporary.
But then Combination Therapy with Help Apheresis got her out of bed and the wheelchair: ‘I had an enormous benefit from Help Apheresis. So huge! My stay here at your clinic Cyprus has definitely changed my life, I am very, very grateful!’
She also shares her experience on how easy her travel to Cyprus was with the help of our partner Thomas from TravelSupportCyprus who took care of everything travel and medical travel related for her, so she did not have to worry or stress about anything. She arrived well rested and with literally no travel burden. Beforehand she had thought travelling to Cyprus would be much more difficult.
Markus and Verena talk in Austrian dialect, so you need to use the subtitles, just push the CC button!
'I had 4 Help Apheresis treatments last year in Germany. They brought me back to 80% of my former capacity. Unfortunately I reinfected with Covid again after and as I did not have Early Treatment packages back then, my Long Covid came back with even more symptoms.
I decided to go for Combination Therapy with Help Apheresis at the Apheresis Center in Cyprus. I was put on the clinics' MCAS protocol a few weeks prior to my arrival and I arrived with my MCAS being much better already. Now I am receiving Help Apheresis, IV treatments and medication protocols since three weeks and my symptoms are mostly gone already, I could even have a beer yesterday for the first time again and enjoy the beach, no more pain and anxiety!
The Apheresis Center is a totally different experience and I am super happy I chose Cyprus. It is very different from Germany. The doctors, nurses and the whole team are doing everything to bring me back to my full capacity, their knowledge about Long Covid and the individually adapted treatment is great - a real concierge medicine experience! I missed home last year in Germany - here in Cyprus not a single day, we even extended our stay and will come back next year for holidays!'
(The video has subtitles, just push the CC button)
You can watch Jeremy's full story here: Full Video
Jeremy allowed us to film his medical treatment to give other patients an easy way of seeing the treatment in detail before undergoing it themselves. You can watch the video here: Jeremy's H.E.L.P. Apheresis treatment
'After having been bedridden for over a year with extreme spinal pain, heavy fatigue, brain fog, POTS and further debilitating symptoms, I got on a plane to Cyprus and I had 7 Help Apheresis treatments. I got better after the first treatment, but after the third treatment I could walk out of the clinic without any troubles. I now have access to the world again - it has given me so much of my life back - it is so wonderful! Your staff is amazing, they are so sweet! Rafailia is a genius with finding good veins, she is the best I have ever seen!'
You can watch Heidi's full story here: Full Video
'I have had some amazing results with H.E.L.P. Apheresis for my Long Covid - my 6th treatment got me back to feeling 75% to 90% recovered. Larnaca was truly an amazing place for recovery. Also the great community for support that formed with others getting treatment was so wonderful. It was so nice to have a team of people helping you that "got it" and believed you in addition to being with others suffering the same life changing illness.'
Patricia has been suffering from severe MECFS since 2015:
'My Help Apheresis treatment improved my ME by 80%. Help Apheresis took me from being mostly bed bound 23 hours a day - I could not be upright without my heart jumping to 170 beats per minute, even higher if I tried to have a shower - to being able to be upright and be mobile almost every day. It changed my life! I can now manage my own life again. I can go outside again and I was able to gain weight and can now eat three solid meals a day again!
You can watch Patricia's full story here: Full Video
Landen was struggling with breathing, anxiety, brain fog and other symptoms before we treated him with H.E.L.P. Apheresis. Several months after the treatment he is now back to 70% of his former self, some fatigue and PEM are the last symptoms partly persisting. He is tackling them with Combination Therapy. The above video is a short version/excerpt of his appearance on 1819 News (Source: 1819news)
'Having had H.E.L.P Apheresis treatment in Larnaca in Feb/March, I have now been back for 4 months and can confidently say I am a lot better despite having had to leave earlier than I planned. For the first time since early 2020 I am now living well and I feel positive about eventually getting 100% better. I am so glad I had the opportunity to go to Cyprus and I remain grateful to Silke, Markus, Nicky and the team for their dedicated expertise.'
'I just returned home from a 3 weeks stay in Larnaca. I have had 4 H.E.L.P Apheresis treatments in the first 2 weeks and 1 HBOT treatment (just to try, but not my favourite). During the first treatment the pressure between heart and lungs disappeared after about 1,5/2 hours. Also the brainfog had been reduced substantially. Silke and Markus and their team are great, they are doing a great job. And take advantage of the extra options that are offered. For me another treatment in 2 or 3 months is a realistic option (in case of a relapse or if I don't seem to improve anymore).'
Brian V., Netherlands
'After the first H.E.L.P Apheresis treatment I felt very tired but pretty good. I noticed I didn’t have chest pain anymore. I rested a lot and had the next three sessions over the next two weeks without any problems. After my fourth treatment I could really see that my eyes were clear white for the first time in ages. I have colour in my cheeks that I haven’t had since I caught covid. I found the Cyprus clinic very nicely run and everyone was very lovely. I also met other people with long covid having the same treatment and there was a fantastic sense of community.'
Sarah H., US
'I had 6 H.E.L.P Apheresis. Right after the 1st one, I felt I could breath better - it was great. Day two I started having plenty of « side effects », especially neurological ones. Thankfully all of that stopped, and in return, I got my brain back, with no more memory losses, no concentration troubles anymore, no more depression and anxiety. I was feeling myself again for the first time since March 2020.'
Lilas B., France
H.E.L.P. Apheresis - How does it work? A simplified (non-medical) explanation.
Our patient Jeremy allowed us to film his Help Apheresis treatment Nr. 8, so that people can have a detailed look before undergoing the treatment themselves. We tried to explain things very simplified and in an easy to understand form and in return sacrificed a bit of the medical and scientific precision for it to be easier to watch.
You find Jeremy's interview about his treatment experience here: click here
H.E.L.P. Apheresis with leg catheter access
Our patient Stephen allowed us to film his Help Apheresis treatment Nr.4, so that people can get an insight on how the treatment works with the use of a catheter (a special apheresis catheter is used if you have very small veins, bad/affected veins that make them inaccessible with apheresis needles, or in some cases if your apheresis needles keep getting blocked). You can find more information on catheters at the bottom of the in the FAQ section here
Topics that have not been covered/explained in the videos:
- Disinfection prior to the treatment / use of liquid gloves
- Covid rapid tests and unmasking
- Blood panel/test prior to treatment
- Doctor's assessment and interview prior to treatment
- Preparation and test of the machine/safety precautions
- Preparation of the catheter (flushing with aspirator) which will cause the sterile protection sheet to be slightly stained
- Other medical/safety factors before/during/after the treatment
- Instructions of the patient how to take care of the needle stitches/catheter and optimal hydration/nutrition/rest after the treatment
Caution: We do not use precise language/descriptions in this videos, it is for demonstration purposes only. Jeremy and Stephen are no longer light-/sound-/movement sensitive, so we did not have to take special precautions.
A 2022 documentary by Prof. Dr. Hirschhausen about H.E.L.P. Apheresis for Long Covid, Vaccine Injury and MECFS, in German with English subtitles:
A 2022 report about Long Covid including H.E.L.P. Apheresis with English subtitles:
English 2021 interview with Dr Jaeger and Dr Khan on BBC News Live:
Our diagnostic screening questionnaire is used by patients and clinicians all over the world. It gives you an indication on how severely you are affected by microclots, microcirculation and blood flow issues!