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What is therapeutic phlebotomy?
Therapeutic phlebotomy is a blood draw procedure usually prescribed by a physician as part of a treatment of various medical conditions associated with accumulation of excess iron in the body. Common examples of such conditions are hemochromatosis, porphyrias and polycythemia. The procedure involves donation of a unit (about 500 cc) of blood on a regular basis. The blood draw stimulates the body to make new red blood cells, which require iron. Therefore, the process depletes the iron stores in the body as new red blood cells are made.
What are the requirements for therapeutic phlebotomy?
A physician order including the amount of blood to be withdrawn, the frequency of donation, and the desired hemoglobin level are required. A health history and mini-physical are done, and consent for phlebotomy is given.
Are there extra charges for therapeutic blood?
No, there are no additional charges to the patient or the donor for therapeutic phlebotomies if the donation is collected and processed by an ITxM blood center.
Therapeutic phlebotomies are dependent on:
- A physician’s order—this must be received by the Special Donations Department prior to the recipient calling to register as a therapeutic patient
- Appointments—Therapeutic phlebotomies are made by appointment only at any of our community donor centers
- The patient is responsible for ensuring that all he/she calls the Special Donations Department to schedule their appointments
Protocol for therapeutic phlebotomy donors:
All therapeutic phlebotomy patients must have an order on file in the Special Donations Department.
To enroll in this program and to schedule an appointment, please contact the Special Donations Department at 412-209-7020.