Why is Iron important?
Our bodies need iron. Iron is used to make haemoglobin – the part of our red blood cells that carries oxygen around our body. It is also important for muscle strength, energy and good mental function. If your iron levels are low this may make you feel tired and not able to do normal daily activities. As the amount of iron in the body falls even lower, the haemoglobin level drops below normal. This is known as iron deficiency anaemia.
Why might I need an Iron Infusion?
The most common way to treat iron deficiency is to take iron by mouth as a tablet or liquid. This works well for most people and is usually tried first. Some people may need iron to be given straight into the body through a vein. This is called an Intravenous (IV) iron infusion. Sometimes 2 iron infusions (given at least 1 week apart) are needed to fully top up iron stores. The infusion is made up of iron, not blood. IV iron might be needed if you:
- Are not able to take iron tablets / liquid
- Are not responding to iron tablets / liquid or not absorbing them
- Need to get your iron levels up quickly (eg. before major surgery, late in pregnancy or to avoid blood transfusion)
- If you have chronic kidney disease or chronic heart failure Your doctor should explain why you need IV iron and the other options
How do I make an appointment for an Iron Infusion?
You will first need to make a standard consultation appointment with your GP to discuss your current health, medical history, review of medications and any prior treatment if any. You will also need to have a blood test to determine your current iron levels and your GP will then discuss the next steps. If an Iron Infusion will be beneficial to you, and treatment is deemed appropriate by your GP, an appointment will be scheduled.