Iron infusions IV Therapy
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What are Iron Infusions?
Iron deficiency is a common medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the body lacks sufficient iron to produce hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, resulting in fatigue, weakness, and other debilitating symptoms. To address severe cases of iron deficiency, iron infusions have become an effective and widely used treatment option. In this webpage, we will explore the mechanism of action of iron infusions and their use as a treatment for iron deficiency.
Mechanism of Action
Iron infusions work by directly introducing iron into the bloodstream, bypassing the gastrointestinal system. The iron used in infusions is usually in the form of iron salts, such as iron sucrose, ferric carboxymaltose, or iron dextran. Once infused into the bloodstream, iron is transported and taken up by bone marrow cells responsible for producing red blood cells. The iron is then incorporated into hemoglobin, allowing red blood cells to function effectively in carrying oxygen to tissues and organs.
Symptoms of Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency can manifest in various symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Some common symptoms include:
Fatigue and Weakness: Due to a reduced oxygen supply to tissues and muscles.
Paleness: A decreased number of red blood cells may result in paler skin and mucous membranes.
Shortness of Breath: Low hemoglobin levels can cause difficulties in breathing, especially during physical activity.
Headaches and Dizziness: Insufficient oxygen supply to the brain can lead to headaches and dizziness.
Cold Hands and Feet: Poor circulation can cause extremities to feel cold to the touch.
Brittle Nails and Hair Loss: Inadequate iron levels can affect nail and hair health.
Restless Legs Syndrome: Iron deficiency has been linked to this neurological disorder.
It's important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other medical conditions, so a proper diagnosis is necessary.
Results of Iron Infusions
Iron infusions have shown to be highly effective in treating iron deficiency anemia. Patients typically experience improvement in their symptoms as their hemoglobin levels increase and iron stores are replenished. The results of iron infusions may vary depending on the severity of iron deficiency and the individual's response to treatment.
Labs Required and Infusion Details
Before prescribing iron infusions, healthcare providers typically conduct the following tests to determine iron deficiency:
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)
The iron infusion process usually takes about 45 minutes, and multiple infusions may be required to achieve the total dose needed for each patient. The maximum frequency for infusions is generally twice weekly.
Cost of Iron Infusions
The cost of an iron infusion can vary depending on factors such as the type of iron preparation used and the healthcare facility's pricing. As a rough estimate, each infusion are $200. For example, if a patient requires a total of 1000mg of iron, it would necessitate 5 infusions of 200mg, resulting in a total cost of $1000.
Iron infusions have emerged as a valuable treatment option for individuals with severe iron deficiency anemia. With a well-established mechanism of action and backed by substantial research, iron infusions have demonstrated their efficacy in replenishing iron stores and alleviating debilitating symptoms associated with iron deficiency. If you suspect you have iron deficiency anemia or are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional who can assess your condition and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment, which may include iron infusions.
- Auerbach, M. (2011). 'Iron Infusion Therapy.' Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America, 25(2), 201-210.
- Khalafallah, A. A., Dennis, A. E., Ogden, K. J., McClure, S. J., & Williams, R. B. (2013). 'Iron delivery and uptake is essential for effective erythropoiesis in iron deficiency anemia.' Internal Medicine Journal, 43(3), 286-292.
- Evstatiev, R., Marteau, P., Iqbal, T., Khalif, I. L., Stein, J., Bokemeyer, B., ... & Gasche, C. (2011). 'FERGIcor, a randomized controlled trial on ferric carboxymaltose for iron deficiency anemia in inflammatory bowel disease.' Gastroenterology, 141(3), 846-853.
- Reinisch, W., Staun, M., Tandon, R. K., Altorjay, I., Thillainayagam, A. V., Gratzer, C., ... & Gasche, C. (2013). 'Randomized, open-label, non-inferiority study of intravenous iron isomaltoside 1000 (Monofer) compared with oral iron for treatment of anemia in IBD (PROCEED).' American Journal of Gastroenterology, 108(12), 1877-1888.
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Meet Your Provider
Joanie Jackson, RN, BSN, MSN is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She is a graduate of University of South Carolina Upstate (BS in Nursing) and South University (MS in Nursing).
Joanie has worked in multiple areas of nursing, including cardiac telemetry, progressive care and Neurosurgical ICU for over 10 years before pursuing a Masters Degree.
Joanie has been a Nurse Practitioner for over 4 years, working in a post acute care rehab / long term care setting. Joanie's passion is to provide patients with natural and pharmaceutical choices when necessary.
As a native Fort Mill-ian, she and her husband, Stephen, met in high school and have been married 15 years. Together they have 2 children, ages 11 and 9. When not working, she loves to travel but never turns down a quick trip to the beach, and also enjoys college football (Go Gamecocks!).