This sheet answers common questions about the administration of Intravenous Iron. If you would like further information, or have any worries, please do not hesitate to ask your nurse or doctor.
In all cases, a nurse will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. In most cases it will be possible for a friend or relative to accompany you for all or part of the procedure. Please ask your nurse or doctor.
What is the procedure?
You will have received this appointment letter as you have been booked into our renal service iron clinic. This is because a blood test we have seen have shown that the amount of iron in your blood is low. This will be causing anaemia, and you need an iron infusion.
Iron deficient anaemia, and the symptoms
People with kidney disease usually cannot absorb iron through your gut, so increasing the amount of iron in the food you eat or taking tablets usually does not work. Giving intravenous iron (IV), directly into your veins tops up these iron levels quickly. You may or may not have experienced some symptoms of low iron. These are tiredness, low mood, feeling faint and breathless. The aim of giving you iron is to help improve these symptoms as part of your treatment to manage your anaemia.
About the procedure
In our clinic we give a medication called Ferinject. This is iron given via a ‘drip’ over 20 minutes. When you come to clinic a nurse will put a butterfly needle (like the one when you have your blood taken) in your arm or the back of your hand. You will then be connected to the iron infusion (drip). You can just relax.
Before the procedure
We encourage you to have something to eat and drink before you come. This can often help us place the needle more easily, and generally make you feel more comfortable when you are having iron.
We encourage you to please be on time for this appointment. These clinics can be very busy, and should you be late we may need to postpone your infusion for another time to avoid other patients being late.
After the procedure
You should not experience any adverse effects after the procedure and can go home and perform your normal daily activities. However, if you are at all concerned, please feel free to contact the unit who provided the iron Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, of NHS 111 out of hours.
Risk and Side Effects
Very rarely people may experience a reaction to the IV iron. If this happens you may get some or all the following symptoms:
- Feeling dizzy
- Fast heartbeat
- Light headiness
- Swelling of your face
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing.
Someone will always be with you while you are having the infusion. Should you feel any of the above or at all different, please tell us. We can then assess you and if necessary, stop the iron and give you some medication for your symptoms should it be needed. As stated previously reactions are very rare.
There is an option to have this infusion in tablet form. However, it can take much longer for your anaemia to be corrected
You will be given an appointment to have iron in one of the following places:
- Royal Free Hospital, Third Floor
- Tottenham Hale Renal Unit. Telephone: 020 7830 2820.
- Mary Rankin Renal Unit.
- Edgware Kidney Care Centre. Telephone: 020 8732 4160.
If you have any questions or concerns about this appointment, please telephone 020 7794 0500, extension 36229.