Therapeutic phlebotomy is the practice of blood removal for medical reasons. This is generally performed by a medical professional who is certified to draw blood from a patient. Only a licensed physician should order therapeutic phlebotomy as this is a form of treatment for certain medical conditions.
Is It Free?
Therapeutic phlebotomy is offered as free community service and the great news is there is no charge for this medical procedure in many donor centers. Also, one’s personal physician must be the only person to discuss the medical reasons for therapeutic phlebotomy.
What Is the Therapeutic Phlebotomy Procedure
Patients, just like regular blood donors, are asked a set of questions prior to the IV therapy. Medical staff check the patient’s pulse, hematocrit level, temperature, etc.
The so-called hematocrit level is the percentage of red blood cells in the patient’s blood. Taking the patient’s blood pressure is also an important part of the whole procedure.
These days, trained medical staff members use disposable sterile needles in order to collect blood from the patient’s arm. The duration of the procedure as well as the amount of fluid to be infused is determined by the physician.
As soon as the procedure is done, the patient is asked to relax for a few minutes before riding home.
Blood collection takes no more than 10-15 minutes while the whole process could take up to 45 minutes.
How Often Should One Undergo Therapeutic Phlebotomy?
A doctor will determine how often his patient will need to undergo therapeutic phlebotomy or how much blood will be taken from his on each of his visits.
Information Needed Before Therapeutic Phlebotomy
Therapeutic phlebotomy is only performed when the patient’s personal physician orders for it. It is also encouraged that other physicians have collaborated with this particular physician before the therapy is even started.
There are two ways that a physician’s order can be presented:
1. The Therapeutic Phlebotomy Physician’s order form which is duly completed and filled out by the personal physician.
2. A prescription from the personal physician for this kind of therapy. The amount of blood that will be taken or the fluids that need to be administered should also be detailed.
More often than not, the patient is also asked for a photo ID, his social security number, phone number, address and his date of birth.
Should the Patient Fast Prior to Testing?
If it is written on your doctor’s order form then, yes, you are required to fast. But you are asked to eat within four hours of your appointment. Drink lots of fluids a few days before and shun beverages that have alcohol or caffeine in them.
Can You Undergo This Procedure If You Have Cardiac Issues?
You need to get a cardiac clearance from your physician first.