Iron Infusion: Need for It, Preparation, Process, Duration, Side effects, and Complications
Iron is the chemical element that is found mainly in blood. It is present in large quantities in many of the foods we consume on a regular basis. If you do not get enough iron from your diet or suffer from certain medical conditions that cause lower levels of iron, you could develop iron deficiency anaemia. Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common type of anaemia which is develop worldwide. Iron infusion symptoms can negatively impact the quality of your life.
The main gateway for iron is to enter our body is through the food we eat. After the food is broken down by the digestive system, iron gets absorbed into the bloodstream by cells present in the small intestine. After the absorption, iron is utilize by the bone marrow, which produces new red blood cells. These red blood cells carry oxygen to the body tissues. If your body doesn’t get enough iron to regulate the proper functioning of the body, then you can develop a condition called iron-deficiency anaemia. This type of anaemia is common and mild, which can be easily treatable. If your condition doesn’t improve with oral medications, then you need further treatment.
So, if you want to get good treatment, then iron infusions are the best option to treat people with iron deficiency anaemia.
Why is there a need for iron Infusion?
If you suffer from iron deficiency anaemia, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness, headache, shortness of breath, zero tolerance to extreme weather conditions, chest pain, which can impact your quality of life and make your life miserable.
Often, this type of anaemia can be easily treatable by oral iron supplements. These supplements can be taken regularly depending upon the need of the patient. But, certain patients can’t tolerate the side effects, or the patient has certain medical conditions, or the patient has dangerously lower levels of iron than intravenous iron is an ideal choice to normalize the levels of the iron in the body quickly. The iron infusion can also be done on the following causes:-
- Celiac diseases
- Having certain types of cancer
- Taking certain medications to increase the production of RBCs in the body, which are called erythropoietin stimulating agents.
- If you suffer from inflammatory bowel syndromes like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- If there is any digestive tract bleeding.
Preparing for your first iron Infusion
Your doctor will give you certain instructions to prepare for an iron infusion treatment. Some basic things you can follow to prepare for an iron infusion therapy include:-
- Consider having your meals either your breakfast or lunch because there is no need to fast on the day of iron infusion
- Take any oral medications if you have certain medical conditions.
- Relax and be prepared for the IV drip put in your arm or hand.
- Know the way to call for help during IV infusion in case you develop an allergic reaction or adverse effects.
You may get a little nervous before your IV infusion. To help reduce anxiety, consider talking to your doctor first about the procedure. They can make you feel comfortable and relax during the treatment procedure. Following are the tips to get comfortable
- Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing.
- Carry drinking water to keep yourself hydrated.
- Listen to calm music to reduce stress.
- Watch a movie or any TV show on your smartphone or TV
- You can also read a book or magazine.
Process of Iron Infusion:
An iron infusion can be performed at a hospital or doctor’s clinic or any hemodialysis center. Doctor or health care providers such as nurses will insert a needle and, with the help of it, inserts a small tube into a vein. This small tube is a catheter which is usually put into a vein of your hand or arm. After insertion of the catheter, the needle is remove.
Now the catheter is attach to a long tube. This tube is connect to the IV bag of the front, which has been dilutes with a saline solution. This solution is pumps into your vein, or the gravity is use to slowly drip down the tube, which is, in turn, gets slow into your vein.
There is a feeling of a slight pinch in your skin where there is an insertion of needles. Before performing the procedure doctor will do a test to ensure that you don’t develop any adverse reactions from the iron. If you develop any reactions, then they will discontinue the procedure.
How long Iron Infusion last?
The iron infusion takes up to 3 to 4 hours. In some cases, it can take a little longer, depending upon the severity of the treatment, it can take more time. The slow infusion can help to reduce any complications.
Side effects and complications
You may have these side effects right after the procedure. Some of the mild side effects which include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Temporary changes in the taste of food and drinks
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Itching and rashes
- Increased or decreased BP
- Swelling at the site of injection
Some of the serious side effects include
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe hypotension
- Loss of consciousness