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Transfusions and Iron Overload Blood and platelet transfusions, iron testing and treatments

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  #1  
Old Thu Jul 8, 2010, 09:23 PM
SkipM SkipM is offline
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1st Transfusion Questions

This week my hbg fell below 8 for the first time and is now 7.2. I'm still functioning alright and even went on a 10 mile bike ride last Sunday. The Dr. wants me to come in and get a transfusion but I'm on vacation so will wait until next Tuesday to do it.

My big question is do I need someone to be there with me to take me home? My wife works and won't be able to take off that day.

How long does this process take? Can I go right to work afterwards?
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  #2  
Old Thu Jul 8, 2010, 11:26 PM
Neil Cuadra Neil Cuadra is offline
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Transfusions typically take a couple of hours, depending on how much paperwork, cross-checking, etc. they do. You shouldn't need anyone to pick you up afterwards and you should be fine going to work. In fact, you'll probably feel better than when you went in.

After a transfusion you should notice if any symptoms of a problem occur, like shortness of breath, pain, tingling, chills, fever, swelling at the transfusion site, bleeding, and so on. If there's anything out of the ordinary, call the transfusion center or your doctor to report it and ask what to do.
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  #3  
Old Fri Jul 9, 2010, 08:42 AM
Marlene Marlene is offline
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Before John's treatment, he was able to get his red cells on his own. Like Neil said, he felt better after getting them. After his treatment, he needed me to drive him for a whole host of reasons but mostly because they had to pre-med him before red cells because he started getting hives with his red cell transfusion. He couldn't drive because of the Atarax...made him way too sleepy. In addition, he was pretty wiped out in general.
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  #4  
Old Fri Jul 9, 2010, 10:45 AM
squirrellypoo squirrellypoo is offline
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As long as you're not getting piriton/benadryl before your transfusions (I only got these with platelet transfusions after a bad reaction) then you should be fine to drive. Before my transplant, I would regularly get transfusions and go to work directly after. But remember that red blood bags take around 2-2.5 hours to drip through, plus an hour padding on either side (if your outpatients is anything like mine), so even if I got there right as they opened at 9, I would still only get to work around lunchtime and work a half-day.

(I know you didn't ask about platelets, but they're much quicker - 15min and you're done!)
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  #5  
Old Fri Jul 9, 2010, 10:56 AM
Gloria J Gloria J is offline
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I always felt a little blah the evening after a transfusion (usually two units) and sometimes even the next day. A nurse once told me it was because of the new blood trying to assimilate with mine. Whether that's true or not, I always tried to make sure the next day held nothing too taxing for me.

I always drove myself in, but it was a long day - in by 8AM, home by 6 PM. A day out of your life, but the boost in energy and well-being always made up for it.
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  #6  
Old Fri Jul 9, 2010, 05:04 PM
launch launch is offline
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Also, if you have any cardiac conditions, they may drip the transfusion even slower. So, may be longer than 2.5 hrs. Hopefully not though. My husband has a stint from 10 yrs ago and the Regional Hosp would require a longer transfusion time than they did at the Cancer Center? Different rules/protocol.
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  #7  
Old Sat Jul 10, 2010, 04:56 PM
Laura Laura is offline
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I would always get premedicated with Tylenol and Benadryl prior to transfusions. Sometimes the Benadryl made me tired. Each transfusion would last between 3-4 hours. Maybe see how you feel after the first time you go to get transfusions? Then based on how you feel see if you are up to working or not. I usually drove myself there. You again might want to see how the first one goes and have your wife there. Then based on how you feel decide for the next time if you need someone or not.

Laura
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  #8  
Old Sat Jul 10, 2010, 05:48 PM
mausmish mausmish is offline
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At one location was not premedicated; at the other, I had benadryl. I recommend having someone go with you the first time since you don't know how you might react. I felt fine with mine but everyone is different. The quickest I had was 2 hours, the longest 5. Hope this helps.
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  #9  
Old Sun Jul 11, 2010, 12:02 AM
Chirley Chirley is offline
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Hi.

It sounds like we all have different experiences. I always have a premed of IV Hydrocortisone and although I also have IV Phenergan ordered I always refuse to have it. I drive myself and it would be too dangerous (and illegal) to drive. After being given the premed the nurses wait half an hour before starting the transfusion.

My blood units are run in using a pump and are given at one and a half hours per unit. Add in the time at the beginning to establish IV access, check orders, check your identity etc and time at the end to flush the lines and remove them and take a final blood pressure and temperature.

Depending on how busy the day is you can sometimes have to wait a considerable length of time just to start the process.


All in all.......how long is a piece of string?


Good luck.
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  #10  
Old Tue Jul 13, 2010, 05:42 PM
SkipM SkipM is offline
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Thanks everyone for your input. It was helpful. Long story short. False alarm. I went in today to get the transfusion and my hbg was 8.2. So I did not need a transfusion right now. Dr. is putting me back on Revlimid and will be checking cbc's weekly for now.
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  #11  
Old Wed Jul 14, 2010, 10:03 PM
Lisa Z Lisa Z is offline
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transfussion

skip - Depending on where you go and if you are premedicated, this will determine if you can drive. I always went to Abington for my transfussions. If you get 2 bags, plan on spending the day. One time I did not get premedicated and I ended up with hives all over my body. So, you should get the tylenol/benadryl pre-meds. I think with the benadryl, they want you to have someone drive you home, even though it is really worn off by then. But, hospital liability......... those are likely the rules.

Glad you didn't need it in any case.
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  #12  
Old Fri Jul 16, 2010, 06:13 PM
Hawaii Bill Hawaii Bill is offline
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Not sure if this helps, but

A lot depends on the rules of the transfusion site. At the place where I received most of my transfusions, I learned that the overall time was reduced if I went in the day before for the "type and cross" if I was receiving red blood (not required for platelets). Otherwise, they would do it when I arrived for the transfusion, and that added a lot of wait time.

Another center I went to a couple of times wanted a type and cross for platelets, too.

I think having someone there with you the first time is a good idea. They'll probably be bored, but that's what you want!
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  #13  
Old Thu Jul 22, 2010, 12:15 PM
BBTALKER BBTALKER is offline
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Generally not. Although transfusions can result in adverse reactions, it is not typical.
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