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Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: Iron infusions - low Ferritin


 betm - Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:19 am

I have beeen having trouble with low ferritin level----last one was 5. I have had low hemaglobins and hematacrits in the past also. My last blood work showed a hgb. of 12 and hct of 34 and ferrtin of 5 and RDW of 15.2. I have to see a Hematologist next week. My PCP wants me to have Iron infusions done. Has anybody had these before??

Thank you
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:36 pm

User avatar Dear betm,

Ferritin is iron binding protein and represents iron stored in the body Ferritin is found in the liver, spleen, skeletal muscles, bone marrow and at low level in the blood.

A ferritin blood test is requested to investigate certain conditions like:
The cause of anemia.
Diagnose hemochromatosis .
Check for the efficacy of iron therapy

Low ferritin level are commonly seen in:
Condition of chronic blood loss such as:
Irregular menstrual bleeding.
Inadequate iron intake.
GI bleeding from ulcers, colon polyps, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, etc.

IV (intravenous) infusion of supplemental iron is indicated in severe cases of anemia when:
- Oral intake is not convenient.
-Higher doses of iron are needed in cases of severe anemia.
- Inadequate absorption like in malabsorption
- Rapid elevation of iron level is mandatory.

There are different types of IV iron preparations including iron dextran, sodium ferric gluconate, and iron sucrose.

Doses are given at low rate, e.g.the total dose of iron dextran in normal saline over eight hours.

Test doses of undiluted iron dextran is usually done to avoid for anaphylactic reactions although side effects, which are usually mild and reported in less than 25% of patients.
Sensitive patients can also receive intravenous iron infusion using prophylactic antihistamines, corticosteroids, and histamine2 blockers.

Rapid symptomatic improvement is usually expected in the majority of cases. The risk of iron overload and the potential increased risk of infection are considerable.

I advise you to follow up with your doctor, discuss with him the indication for parentral iron ifnusion in your condition and updated him with any symptom.

I hope these informations are helpful,

Best regards,

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