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What is therapeutic phlebotomy?

It is a procedure where blood is removed from your body. It is done the same way as a blood donation. 

Why is therapeutic phlebotomy done?

It is used to treat certain disease. It can:

  • Remove extra red blood cells.

  • Remove extra iron in the blood.

  • Remove unusual shaped red blood cells.

What are the possible side effects of this procedure?

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Low blood pressure

  • Soreness, redness, burning or pain where the needle was placed

  • Fainting

What should I do during the procedure?

  • Drink fluids (preferably juice or soda with sugar)

  • Remain seated or laying down

  • Let your nurse know if you are having any side effects mentioned above

What should I do after the procedure?

  • Avoid changing position too quickly. If you get up too quickly, you may feel dizzy, lightheaded or faint.

  • If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, sit down right away and put your head between your knees or lay down with your legs higher than your head until you stop feeling dizzy or lightheaded.

  • If you continue to have dizziness or lightheadedness, tell your doctor or nurse.

  • Keep the bandage the nurse applied to the needle site on for at least 1 hour.

  • If you start bleeding from the needle site, raise your arm above your head and apply pressure to the site for 5 to 10 minutes. If you are still bleeding after 10 minutes, contact the clinic who performed the procedure right away. 

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow. Do not drink alcohol. 

  • Do not exercise heavily or do any heavy lifting for at least 5 hours after the procedure.

  • Eat well balanced meals for the next 24 hours.

  • Avoid smoking for at least 30 minutes after the procedure.