This procedure will be completed with a physicians or clinics office with the purpose of removing red blood cells from the body. Usually, this will be necessary if there are concerns about the level of iron in a patient’s blood. Typically, two peripheral intravenous lines are used to complete the procedure if there is no access to a vascular access device like a portacath or CVL.
The process of getting a PIV started is considered to be the most uncomfortable part of this procedure. PIV lines are used to remove blood from the body and replace it with a blood product or even intravenous fluids.
A physician should explain the procedure to a patient in full and determine how much blood will need to be removed. The full procedure will usually last between two and four hours.
Why Would Therapeutic Phlebotomy Be Needed?
This procedure can be used to treat a wide variety of different conditions. A physician will explain to a patient why this procedure might be necessary and how it could benefit them. Usually, it is completed to reduce the level of RBCs, allow transfusions of RBCs with normal levels of hemoglobin or reduce the iron overload that might be present in the bloodstream.
There are various types of diseases such as Eisenmenger’s syndrome and sickle cell anemia that prevent RBCs from picking up the right levels of oxygen from the lungs. When this happens the body produces a higher level of RBCs to boost the oxygen delivery to different cells. This condition is referred to as erythrocytosis. When the level of RBCs increase, the blood gets thicker and there are various symptoms that could impact a patient such as:
- Muscle aches
- Visual disturbances
- Bleeding problems
Symptoms like this are controlled by removing blood from the body through a procedure such as therapeutic phlebotomy.
PhlebotomyU offers several courses. In our CPT I classes, students will receive hands on experience and practice this procedure in clinical and classroom settings. Contact PhlebotomyU today to learn which course is best for you.
What Are The Side Effects?
It’s important to note that any side effects that could be triggered by this procedure are not particularly common. However, people who have the procedure may experience minor levels of discomfort. This is again due to the insertion of the intravenous lines.
To prevent issues here, clinicians will use numbing medications that can significantly decrease levels of discomfort.
What Should You Expect During The Procedure?
It’s possible that during the procedure you will experience feelings of dizziness. Some people may also faint or experience nausea during the procedure. If you experience issues like this, then it’s important to make sure that you do alert your healthcare provider. Typically when effects like this are felt, a healthcare provider will work to slow down the procedure and they might also ensure that you do get more fluids during the procedure.
The procedure will only take approximately ten to fifteen minutes if there are no complications. As such, it can be a quick and easy option for many individuals.
Complications may arise if your physician does struggle to find the right vein and this can also elevate levels of discomfort. In rare cases, a physician may need to use an ultrasound to find the right vein. However, this is considered to be the worst case scenario.
What Can You Expect After The Procedure?
Patients may also experience dizziness once a procedure is complete. You can deal with this by ensuring that you rise more slowly when you are sitting down. If you experience dizziness while walking around then you might want to try sitting down and placing your head between your legs.
Usually, symptoms like this will only last a couple of days and you will gradually see improvements during this time.
How Often Is This Procedure Required?
The number of times this procedure will be required is going to differ from person to person. It’s based on how quickly the body will produce more RBCs. Your physician will monitor your levels of hematocrit and hemoglobin. You will need to make sure that you alert your physician if you notice any issues with:
- Muscle aches
- Chest pain
Usually, treatment will continue until a patient’s ferritin level reaches the right point. This goal will be set by the physician. Typically, the aim will be to reduce the ferritin levels by between 30 and 50 points. However, some patients do see higher levels of success.
If you see benefits from this procedure then it is likely to be repeated a few times a year or approximately every three to six weeks. Again, this will differ depending on the individual and the treatment that they need.
Enroll at PhlebotomyU Today
After achieving your CPT1 certificate at PhlebotomyU, you will be ready to find your dream phlebotomy job. As a nationally accredited phlebotomy training program, PhlebotomyU prepares its students with the skills they need to succeed afterwards including career services , a phlebotomy internship, and more. Interested? Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.