A closer look at our
Iron infusion service
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient disorder in the world, so sometimes we need a little help to boost our levels with an iron infusion. An iron infusion delivers a dose of liquid iron directly into the bloodstream via a vein with an IV drip and are often favoured over iron injections. At Effect Doctors, we’re proud to offer an Iron Infusion service, but you may be wondering what an iron infusion involves, so here’s a quick look at what to expect:
What happens during the iron infusion treatment?
Your doctor will give you a test dose first to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions from the iron. If you do, they will won’t continue with the procedure. One of our doctors will use a very small needle (cannulas) to insert a small tube into one of your veins, usually in your arm or hand – this is known as a catheter. Then, they will remove the needle, leaving the catheter in your vein.
The catheter is attached to a long tube, which is connected to an IV bag of the iron which has been diluted with a saline solution. This solution is either pumped into your vein or uses gravity to drip down the tube and into your vein slowly.
Does the treatment hurt?
Many people are worried about the treatment being painful or uncomfortable. You may feel a slight pinch or scratch in your skin where the IV needle is inserted, and there may also be some pressure at the insertion site during your procedure.
How long does the treatment take?
Your infusion can take a few hours to deliver a full dose in one go – up to 3 or 4 – so you should expect to remain seated for this time. In some cases, the infusion can take a little longer, depending on the level of treatment your doctor thinks you need. The slow infusion rate helps prevent complications.
It can also take several iron infusions to bring your body’s iron levels up to the appropriate levels, so you may be recommended to receive iron infusions over one or a few weeks as part of your treatment.
What are the benefits of iron infusions?
An iron infusion is a great way to boost your iron levels quickly, which is beneficial if you have a severe drop in your levels. Iron infusions can also help to increase energy and can make breathing easier.
What are the main reasons for needing an iron infusion?
- You have a medical issue that means you can’t absorb iron adequately through your gut.
- You may not be able to take iron by mouth or take tablets.
- You’re unable to absorb enough iron due to blood loss.
- You need to increase iron levels fast to avoid medical complications or a blood transfusion.
- You eat a diet that’s very low in iron.
- You may take medicines that affect your body’s ability to use iron to make haemoglobin. These include aspirin, heparin, and Coumadin.
- You may have a condition that uses up more iron, such as kidney failure or pregnancy.
How should you prepare for an iron infusion?
We want you to feel completely at ease and comfortable during your treatment, so here are some tips to help you prepare. Our doctors will also provide you with specific instructions for preparing you for your iron infusion. 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
You may feel nervous about your iron infusion, and you can help reduce any anxieties by talking about the procedure with your doctor first. They can recommend ways to help you stay comfortable and relaxed during the procedure. (1)
How can you feel more comfortable during the treatment?
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
- Have drinking water available
- Listen to your favourite music, or film or TV show on a tablet or smartphone
- Read a book or magazine
- Do some basic breathing and meditation exercises
- Ask our doctors if there’s anything your concerned, or would like to know more about
Are there any side effects to be aware of?
After the infusion, you can return to your normal activities straight away. Most people are able to drive themselves home. You can even go back to work after your infusion if you feel up to it.
You may have some side effects right after the procedure. Most of them are mild.
Our doctors can perform a range of blood tests and check your iron levels to determine if they’re low. If you’re unsure whether you have sufficient iron levels arrange a blood test today.