blood transfusion for anemia

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yellowfin43
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 305
   Posted 7/11/2009 5:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Here I go again! I've been fighting severe anemia for the last .....well forever but its really gotten low this time. My last reading yesterday was 7.5 and that was after 4 recent iron infusions. My doc is going to give me 2 doses of blood this monday to get me "kick started" as he says. Can anyone enlighten me as to what to expect and how quick it works?
Crohns 30 years. Ileostomy for 15 years. Symptom free for 14 years until 10 months ago. Was on Remicade but just recently switched to Humira because remicade stopped working, B-12 injections and iron.
God Bless. Tony


Rzrbckfan
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/11/2009 6:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Be ready to be there most of the day (at least 6 or so hours).  When you get there, they will draw some blood to type-and-cross you.  Then, you'll have to wait a while (this is the longest part, or so it seems....) for them to run the blood work and find a match.  The blood will come up (luckily they'll bring both bags at once, so you won't have to wait again).  They'll start the blood, and you'll be watched for the first 30 or so minutes.  They'll run it in over a few hours - I think it took about 2 - 2 1/2 for each bag.  They'll monitor your blood pressure the entire time, along with your pulse and temperature.
Take a good book, movie, computer, so something...
1 bag of blood will = 1 point on the hgb scale, so by the end of the transfusions, you should be up to around 9.5 or so.  Most Dr's I've spoken with will transfuse you if you fall below 8, and want you to be at AT LEAST 8 before they let you leave.
I felt fine aftewards, just a little tired - it's a long day, but totally worth it.  Before my two transfusions I've had (first was 4 units, second was 2 units), my pulse was about 110-120, resting.  After it slowed down to around 80.  So, I wasn't working as hard to get the oxygen to my extremities, along with the iron to the appropriate places!
 
So!! Good luck! Hope all goes well.  I'm well aware of all the struggles you're going through...
1st infusion - Oct 08, HGB was 5.2
2nd infusinon - Dec 08, HBG was 7.2
starting in Jan weekly infusions of Venofer - total of 20 weeks this year.  I've stopped for now - HGB came back 11.6 two weeks ago! We'll see how it is on Wed when I get more blood work.
Also - GI said NOT to take oral iron - if you're not absorbing it properly (like in my case) it can do more harm than good to your intestines.

yellowfin43
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 305
   Posted 7/13/2009 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
I was hoping for alittle more feedback than I got from this question but maybe my situation was more unique than I thought it was. I had my transfusion this morning. 2 units of packed red blood cells. I can't believe how pink I am already!! Now along with the iron infusions I got my prognosis is bright. Have a great day all. Tony
 
 By the way, Thanks Rzrbckfan. You were 100% on everything I went through including how long it took. You were a big help. Tony
Crohns 30 years. Ileostomy for 15 years. Symptom free for 14 years until 10 months ago. Was on Remicade but just recently switched to Humira because remicade stopped working, B-12 injections and iron.
God Bless. Tony


Rzrbckfan
New Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 7/13/2009 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Tony -
 
Glad your transfusion went well!! Good luck with your Venofer infusions.  After 20 weeks - I'm done for now.  I go Wed for bloodwork to see how I'm doing.  Crossing my fingers that my HGB stayed up!!
Hope you don't have to go through what I've been through...but I must say, if you're going to experience long term infusions (Venofer or blood transfusions) I HIGHLY recomend asking for a port-a-cath.  I had one put in after 6 weeks of Venofer, and I wish I had done it sooner.  The repeated sticks in the back of my hands made my veins collapse easily, and it's a thick compound...so it doesn't hurt, just uncomfortable.  Also, recommended that you take something to suck on - jolly ranchers, pepermints, etc.  The iron can leave a bad taste in your mouth.
 
Some of us are just a little bit different when it comes to iron absorptions...according the Cleveland Clinic - it's about 30% of Crohn's patients have iron deficiency anemia of some sort.  So, not totally unique, just maybe not the right 30% of us!

yellowfin43
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 305
   Posted 7/13/2009 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, I noticed the funky taste from the Venofer too. It didnt really bother me that bad but enough so that I mentioned it to the nurse. I go back for labs again in about 2 weeks and I'll find out then if I need more iron or not. I don't get the infusions in my hand but rather the bend of my arm. Hopefully I won't need anymore for awhile. Today I'm pinker than a dozen roses. LOL. I guess I didnt realize how pale I was.
Crohns 30 years. Ileostomy for 15 years. Symptom free for 14 years until 10 months ago. Was on Remicade but just recently switched to Humira because remicade stopped working, B-12 injections and iron.
God Bless. Tony

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