Iron Infusion Life Hack
Last updated: June 2021
Lately, I have been struggling with iron deficiency anemia, and have been prescribed iron infusions in order to elevate my iron stores. I do not tolerate oral iron, which is why iron infusions are a therapy I often get prescribed.
Although I have had quite a few iron infusions over the span of my Crohn’s journey, it wasn’t until now that I discovered a tip that changed the game for me.
Currently, I am in the middle of receiving iron infusion therapy and I've been working with a new nurse in my doctor's office. Her name is Courtney and she is a travel nurse who has graced her presence in our office for a limited time. Shout out to Courtney! She is the absolute best!
Courtney helped me so much by teaching me an awesome tip when it comes to receiving iron for my anemia. Let’s discuss!
Iron infusions for delicate veins
I happen to have delicate veins, but they are deceiving because they are large and easy to find on my arm. Whenever a nurse ties the tourniquet and asks me to place my hand in a fist, my veins pop out beautifully and actually seem rather large.
Oh, but don’t be fooled. For some reason, they either love to roll or blow easily. It’s frustrating because I could never understand why I was such a hard prick since my veins were so easily visible.
The lovely Courtney explained to me that my issue is not that the vein is hard to find, the issue is that the actual vein itself is delicate and misleading in its positioning.
Ouch! That hurts
She explained that often a nurse will overshoot and puncture the vein all the way through, blowing the vein. And she was right because this happens to me all the time!
After she enlightened me with this info, I mentioned that there are times where the actual infusion literally hurts my vein. I’ve had to clench my teeth at times to push through to finish because my vein gets so sore.
Perhaps the fact that my vein wall is delicate is attributed to this? She said yes, of course, and the nature of the iron itself is already abrasive, so with my veins, it’s hard to handle.
Her solution: more saline
To accommodate me, she was brilliant and said that she would dilute the iron with saline, more than it already is, in order to make the process easier.
At this point I wanted to kiss her feet. I had never had such an attentive nurse before. For years, I have been receiving iron treatments and sometimes clenching my fists from the discomfort, and no one ever suggested diluting it further in order to help.
Pain-free iron infusion
Well, she hooked me up and added a bag of saline. She made the line of saline go into the line of iron, further diluting it, and the infusion went amazing!
Zero discomfort. Zero clenching. And she even got me on the first prick! It was the best experience I had for an infusion.
So big thanks to Courtney. If you also experience discomfort during iron infusions, try asking your nurse about further diluting it with saline. For me, it works like a charm!
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