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Iron Infusion

Iron Infusion with Consultant Haematologist

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About Iron Infusion

Iron infusion is a procedure in which iron is delivered to your body intravenously (into a vein through a needle). This method of delivering medication or supplementation is also known as an intravenous (IV) infusion.
 
Iron is an important part of haemoglobin; this is the protein inside the red blood cells that carry oxygen around, making iron a vital mineral in your body.
 

How do I know I need Iron Infusion?

Your GP will tell you if you would benefit from Iron Infusion after they investigate you for anaemia and check your iron profile. He will then refer you to a Consultant Haematologist. As the expert in this field, the Consultant Haematologist will see you, assess your needs and suitability for iron infusion, counsel you on the benefits and potential risks. Then, if you and your consultant haematologist are happy to proceed, he will refer you to our trained nurse for an iron infusion appointment in Newton-le-Willows where specialist facilities for this treatment are available.

What are the benefits of iron infusion?

An iron infusion is a way to increase the body’s iron levels quickly. It’s a more immediate treatment than supplements or dietary changes. This can be very helpful in situations where iron deficiency anaemia is severe.

Physical benefits of an iron infusion include:

  • Increased energy
  • If your tiredness is due to iron deficiency, then after the iron infusion you are expected to feel less tired
  • Better concentration
  • Breathing should be easier when participating in physical exercises.

 

You should start feeling these benefits within 2-4 weeks of completing your treatment.  The duration of these benefits will depend whether or not you’re using any other therapies to increase your iron levels or on the cause of your iron deficiency anaemia.

How long does an Iron Infusion take?

Iron infusion should be given slowly; typically, over 15 to 30 minutes. For safety, no more than 1000mg of iron should be infused per week (usually one treatment visit).  If you have severe iron deficiency your total iron infusion dose may have to be divided into two sessions one week apart. This means the treatment can be carried out safely and effectively, to give you enough iron to replenish your normal iron stores in a single treatment.  An iron infusion is a considerably faster and more effective method to correct anaemia than iron tablets, which can take months to fully replenish iron stores.

All Iron Infusion treatments are done at our Newton-le-Willows hospital. Consultations can take place in Manchester, Liverpool or Newton-le-Willows.

Are there any risks with an iron infusion?

Modern preparations are very well tolerated but of course, every medicine can be associated with some side effects. The most commonly reported side effect is nausea (occurring in only 2.9% of the patients), followed by injection/infusion site reactions, low phosphate levels in the blood, headache, flushing, dizziness and hypertension. Other less common side effects are reported in this clinical trial: http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/24167#INDICATIONS.

Hypersensitivity reactions

Although rare (less than 1 in 1000), serious immediate allergy reaction can occur and this is the main reason behind the strict recommendations of giving iron infusions and hence it should only be administered when staff are trained to evaluate and manage anaphylactic reactions are immediately available, in an environment where full resuscitation facilities can be assured – such as at Pall Mall Medical’s Hospital. Each patient should be observed for adverse effects for at least 30 minutes following each Ferinject administration. If hypersensitivity reactions or signs of intolerance occur during administration, the treatment must be stopped immediately. Facilities for cardio-respiratory resuscitation and equipment for handling acute anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions should be available, including an injectable 1:1000 adrenaline solution. Additional treatment with antihistamines and/or corticosteroids should be given as appropriate.

How do I prepare for the iron infusion treatment?

Preparing for iron Infusion treatment is straightforward. The Consultant will give you some basic things you can do to prepare on the day of your infusion include:

  • Eat your breakfast and lunch, as there is no need to fast for an iron infusion
  • Take your regular medications
  • Be prepared to have a small IV drip put in your arm or hand
  • Know how to call for help during your infusion in case you have an adverse reaction

 

You may feel nervous about your iron infusion. You can help reduce any anxieties by talking about the procedure with your doctor first.

How to book Iron Infusion?

All patients will require a consultation with a specialist Consultant in Haematology before having the iron infusion. Click here to book a consultation with Dr Maged Gharib, Pall Mall Medical’s Consultant Haematologist.