February 8, 2022
Reasons to get an Iron Infusion today!
An iron infusion may be given if a person’s blood counts are so low that taking iron supplements or increasing their daily intake of iron-containing foods would be ineffective or too slow in increasing their iron levels.
Iron is one of the minerals in the human body. It is one of the components of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that helps blood carry oxygen throughout the body.
If you do not have enough iron, your body cannot make hemoglobin, and you may develop anemia. This is known as iron-deficiency anemia, the most common type of anemia.
Factors that can lower your body’s supply of iron include:
- Blood loss (caused by ulcers, some cancers, and other conditions; and, in women, during monthly periods)
- A diet that doesn’t have enough iron in it
- Taking medications that interfere with the ability of the body to absorb iron
- An increase in the body’s need for iron (for instance, in women during pregnancy)
What are the symptoms of anemia?
There are several symptoms that may occur in all types of anemia. They are:
- Feeling tired
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast heartbeat
- Feeling cold (including the sensation that your hands and feet are colder than usual)
- Infections (caused by problems with the immune system).
If you are experiencing one of the following symptoms, please see our doctors so we can help you identify and solve the issue.
How is iron deficiency treated through Iron Infusions?
There are several ways to replace and restore iron stores in the body:
- Oral iron in the form of tablets or liquid
- Intravenous (IV) infusion.
- Intramuscular iron (injection into the muscle). This is painful, causes skin staining, and should be avoided.
The use of oral iron is the most common way of replacing iron and is often suitable and effective.
Oral iron is not a suitable option for everyone. The intravenous method can be considered in certain circumstances such as:
- Difficulty taking oral iron due to side effects
- Unable to absorb oral iron
- Ongoing blood loss exceeding the ability to restore iron levels with oral iron
- When there is a need to replace iron stores quickly, for example, late in pregnancy or before major surgery to avoid a need for blood transfusions
- Individuals with chronic kidney disease receiving EPO hormonal treatment
Iron infusion is a treatment where iron is given through a vein and directly enters the bloodstream. It is also called intravenous (IV) iron. A needle or cannula is placed in the arm or the back of the hand, which is then connected to a drip with iron mixed in with a saline solution.
There are different IV iron preparations available; the most commonly used these days is Ferric Carboxymaltose (Ferinject). This is the most recent addition of IV iron, and the main advantage is the significantly shorter duration of infusion of no more than 15 minutes. It is also associated with a lower risk of having an allergic reaction.
Where is an iron infusion administered?
An iron infusion is carried out in a medical facility where trained health professionals can effectively manage side effects if any were to occur during or after the infusion.
No overnight hospitalization stay is necessary with iron infusions. The infusion itself takes around 15 minutes, and after the treatment, there is a period of observation before the patient is discharged.
If you need multiple treatments and there was no reaction during the first infusion, subsequent treatments may be able to be given at your home by a trained nurse, if this service is available.
How do I get started with Iron Infusions at Woodville Rd Medical and Dental?
Step 1: Make a consultation with our GP’s so they can verify that an infusion is necessary. They will require a recent blood test that they can do for you a few days before the Iron Infusion.
Step 2: Make a booking with our Nurse who will do the administration of the Iron infusion.
Note: Iron infusions carry a $200 fee outside the cost of medications (non-rebatable)
How to prepare for an iron infusion
Your doctor will give you specific instructions for preparing for your first iron infusion treatment. Before getting an Iron infusion you will need to undergo a blood test by the administering GP, so they can review the results and see if it is necessary. Once approved there are a few 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. They can recommend ways to help you stay comfortable and relaxed during the procedure.
How long after my iron infusion will I start to feel better?
Your iron levels will be restored directly right after the infusion, however, it can take up to two weeks before you start to notice a difference and feel better