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Therapeutic Venesection


blood bag.jpg

What we do


SR Phlebotomy provides a professional service that supports therapeutic venesections (Phlebotomy) as requested by the patients specialist or GP.  When performed as part of a patient's treatment for several blood disorders the aim is to decrease iron in the blood or decrease red blood cells.


Hemochromatosis and polycythemia are two disorders which require the treatment of the therapeutic venesection.



What is Therapeutic Venesection?


Your specialist or GP will have advised you to seek a phlebotomy service for a therapeutic venesection.  This is the collection of up to 450ml of blood at regular intervals which is necessary to reduce the total body iron load in patients with hemochromatosis and to reduce the “thickness” of the blood in patients with some other medical conditions. 


Your specialist or GP will determine how often venesection needs to occur and whether regular blood tests, to check your iron stores and liver function, are required.



How is it performed?


A needle is inserted into the large vein at the front of the arm near the elbow.  Blood is then allowed to drain by gravity into a collection bag that is placed onto digital scales for measurement.  The process takes about 15 - 20 minutes.



Is it a safe procedure?


Your own specialist, GP and yourself are responsible for assessing your suitability to commence collection with a phlebotomy service.  Before re-booking your next venesection appointment, the phlebotomist will ask you standard questions about your recent health i.e. when was your last blood test from your specialist or GP and were you advised to proceed with another venesection procedure before commencing collection. 


Occasionally patients may need to be deferred (temporarily postponed or permanently canceled) if they are deemed too unwell or anemic to continue collection.



Private Patient Service


The procedure for arranging a private venesection with us is as follows:


  1. Specialist, GP, consultant, nutritionist, private laboratory or other clinician determines a venesection is required for the patient.

  2. When this is an electronic request, we have to gain permission to access information.

  3. Patient contacts SR Phlebotomy for an appointment.

  4. The patient must read and sign the Venesection disclaimer form before the procedure starts.

  5. The phlebotomist will dispose of the blood bag and other hazardous waste from the procedure using clinical waste setup.



Useful Tips:

  • If you are cold your veins will be more difficult to find. Making sure you keep warm prior to your venesection will help to speed up the procedure.

  • On the day of collection, please ensure you eat normally, drink extra fluids and take your routine medications.

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to the procedure and do not commit to strenuous work or exercise on that day.

  • If possible, arrange for someone to drive you home after the venesection until it is clear how you tolerate recurrent procedures.

  • If you are taking warfarin, diuretic (fluid) tablets or blood pressure medication, please discuss with your referring specialist or GP (in advance of your appointment) if your dosage needs to be modified on the day.

  • Please tell your phlebotomist immediately of any symptoms of dizziness, pain or pins and needles in your arm.

  • Please leave the compression bandage intact for 30 minutes and avoid any vigorous exercise of that arm for a few hours. 

  • If you had a reaction after your phlebotomy service, please make the staff aware at your next visit.

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