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What is safer?
Jun 16, 2005
Hi- my anemia is getting really bad (hgb=3) and my gastroenterologist mentioned IV iron infusions. I want to know what is safer for someone with a compromised immune system- a blood transfusion or an iv infusion. This would only be a stop gap measure because I am continuously bleeding due to ulcers that won't respond to meds. So likely, it's would be a process I'd have to go for all that time, or else, maybe, surgery. But I just want to know, in the meantime, what is safer? With blood transfusion there is a high risk for me having a transfusion rejection reaction but there is also a risk of anaphylactic shock to IV iron.

Need info. Stressed. Thanks.
Re: What is safer?
Jun 16, 2005
I've had iron transfusion done it is just very time consuming it took like 6 hours i was also concerned about anaphylactic shock because i'm allergic to so many things (and have had anaphylactic shock before and now my family doctor has given me a script of EPIPEN to have with me at all times incase it ever happens again)
but back to the infusion it was still very scary but they were great to me and answered all my questions. They started me off with the iron slow to test me to see if i'd have a reaction to it and i didn't so they went ahead and did it also they monitor you closely so if anything happens they are trained to treat you. they had a t.v. there and a recliner to put your feet up and relax.. I'm not sure if all the places are like this but it wasen't as bad as i thought it would be.
Re: What is safer?
Jun 16, 2005
I just finished a series of iron infusions. It took 4 weeks (1 per week) and about 4-8 hours each time (depending on how long to start the IV). I had an allergic reaction on the last one. It was itching around waist, beginning hives, some chest and throat discomfort. They gave me benedryl and slowed the infusion way down (took total of 6 hrs.). but the allergic symptoms went away and I got throught the infusion. The first three were at the cancer center in the chemo area and the last at the hospital because the chemo nurses had such a hard time starting the IV (I was stuck 5 times and then sent to the hospital where the IV team was called in and got it in on the first try).

I got hepatitis c from a blood transfusion I had many years ago and had to go through a very difficult treatment to get rid of it (it's been undetectible for 18 mo. now). I would get the iron before blood any day!
Re: What is safer?
Jun 17, 2005
I would definitely discuss the pros and cons with your doctor first. The blood is more of a quick fix whereas with the iron you still have to make your own. My mom and a close friend both had blood transfusions recently and felt better immediately. The iron will give you the missing ingredient but your body will then have to build back it's own blood supply. I've had 2 different types of IV iron and have experienced anaphylactic reactions to both. The medical staff is well trained for emergencies and both times I was rescued before slipping into a coma. BUT, it was darn scary!!! You can experience an allergic reaction at any time with any introduction of a "foreign" substance. I reacted to the Infed on the first infusion but didn't react to the Ferrlecit until the 23rd!!! Go figure!

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