This page will inform you about Therapeutic Phlebotomy and what to do after your Therapeutic Phlebotomy procedure. So, if you are looking for information related to Therapeutic Phlebotomy procedure, you are at the right page.
Therapeutic phlebotomy is a blood draw done to treat a medical issue, such as having too much iron in your own blood. With therapeutic phlebotomy, your blood will be drawn more than during a regular blood draw. Your doctor is going to decide how much blood will be drawn based on the reason you are having the procedure. If you can, it is highly suggested to drink more liquids than usual before your therapeutic phlebotomy procedure. You have to drink 8 to 10 glasses of liquids for 1 day before your Therapeutic Phlebotomy procedure.
Therapeutic Phlebotomy – Indications
Therapeutic phlebotomy is indicated as an integral component of the treatment of some medical conditions. It is the cheapest and most effective way for removing excess iron in nonanemic patients.
Therapeutic Phlebotomy Procedure
Therapeutic phlebotomy is done in a medically supervised environment. It is usually done in a blood donor center, physician office, apheresis unit, or at home by a well-trained phlebotomist, however home phlebotomy is rarely performed.
The prescription for Therapeutic phlebotomy should contain the below elements:
- Patient’s name
- Date of birth/Medical record number
- Laboratory tests to be performed
- Amount of blood to be drawn. The volume to be removed is determined by the ordering physician. Any amount of blood to be removed over two units must be cleared by the requesting physician.
- Frequency of Therapeutic phlebotomy. Normally, no more than one to two units of blood are removed in a 24-hour period.
- Hematocrit parameter
- Post-phlebotomy care instructions
Before starting therapeutic phlebotomy, the following check-list must be completed.
- Blood pressure
- Arm inspection
Therapeutic Phlebotomy Procedure PDF
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During Your Therapeutic Phlebotomy Procedure – What to Expect
You are going to sit in a chair in the treatment area for your procedure. During your therapeutic phlebotomy procedure, a nurse is going to use a needle connected to a blood collection bag to draw a certain amount of your own blood. After the right amount of blood is drawn, then the nurse is going to remove the needle and place a pressure bandage (bandage which wraps around your arm) over the needle site, the place on your own arm where the needle was.
Instructions after Your Therapeutic Phlebotomy Procedure
Here are some instructions after your Therapeutic Phlebotomy Procedure:
- You have to leave the pressure bandage on your needle site for three to six hours after your procedure.
- Avoid activities which may strain the arm used during your Therapeutic Phlebotomy procedure (such as exercise and heavy lifting) for at least one day after your Therapeutic Phlebotomy procedure.
You may be dizzy after your therapeutic phlebotomy procedure. To help prevent this from happening, below are some things you can do:
- You have to drink more liquids than usual for one to two days after your Therapeutic Phlebotomy procedure. Please try to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses each day.
- You have to avoid alcohol and drinks with caffeine such as cola, coffee, and tea for the rest of the day after your procedure.
- Avoid strenuous exercise (such as jogging) for 1 day after your Therapeutic Phlebotomy procedure.
- You do not smoke for at least 1 hour after your Therapeutic Phlebotomy procedure.
- You do not take a hot bath for the rest of the day after your Therapeutic Phlebotomy procedure.
But, if you feel lightheaded or dizzy, you have to sit down and place your head between your knees. Also, you are able to lie down flat and raise your feet and legs slightly. For instance, you are able to rest them on several pillows.
Caring for Your Needle Site
You may have discomfort, swelling, bleeding, or bruising at your needle site. If so, please follow the guidelines below to assist with these side effects.
- Guidelines to manage discomfort
To manage discomfort, you are able to hold ice or a cool pack over the site for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, you have to take it off for 10 to 15 minutes. Please repeat as needed.
- Guidelines to manage bleeding
To manage bleeding, you have to raise your arm above your head and then apply pressure with your other hand for five minutes or longer. After that, you are able to cover the site with a bandage or put the pressure bandage back on the site, if required.
- Guidelines to manage swelling
To manage swelling, you have to raise your arm above your head and then apply pressure for three to five minutes. After that, you are able to hold ice or a cold pack over the site for 10 to 15 minutes. Next, take it off for 10 to 15 minutes. Please repeat as needed.
- Guidelines to manage bruising
To manage bruising, you have to hold ice or a cold pack over the site for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, you have to take it off for 10 to 15 minutes. Please repeat as needed to assist the bruising fade. Need to know that bruises may spread around your needle site and take approximately 7 to 10 days to go away.
Call Your Doctor’s Office
You have to call your doctor’s office, if you have:
- Discomfort, bleeding, or swelling which is not helped by doing the guidelines above.
- Bleeding that you cannot stop.
- A temperature of 38.3° C or higher.
- Warmth, Redness, or pain at your needle site.
- Any other unexpected side effects.
- Any questions or concerns.