What is Venesection?
Venesection is a simple procedure in which a qualified nurse removes blood from you, via a vein in your arm. Venesection is usually a regular treatment performed at varying intervals, depending on your blood results and diagnosis.
Why do I need a Venesection?
It is most likely that your consultant has recommended venesection for one or two reasons:
- Polycythaemia – This is when your blood has a raised Red Cell Count which results in a thickening of your blood. In this case, venesection is necessary to remove blood on a regular basis to maintain a normal concentration of red cells.
- Haemochromatosis – This is when your body absorbs too much iron from your diet, which is then deposited in various organs around the body ie the Liver and Heart. Too much iron can cause problems with or damage to these organs. Every pint of blood taken during Venesection contains ¼ of a gram of iron.
Where will the Procedure take place?
Venesection is carried out by a qualified nurse specialist in the Venesection clinic on the Day Service Unit.
Preparation for this procedure
Please continue with your normal daily routine before coming in for this procedure. For example you may eat as normal. We would advise you to drink 4 - 5 glasses of water before and after you have your venesection.
How long will it take?
Expect to be in the hospital for about an hour.
On arrival to the Day Service Unit you will report to reception Room 36. Then you will be called by the nurse in to the treatment room. The nurse will give you written and verbal information. The actual procedure will take about 15 to 20 minutes. After it is completed we like you to have a drink and remain on the unit for 10 to 20 minutes.
Does Venesection hurt?
This procedure may be uncomfortable. (It is comparable with giving blood at a donor session).You will be given a sample and a prescription for cream which may be applied at the vein site to numb the area for further venesection. A needle is inserted into your arm and blood drains through a tube into a collection bag.
Can I drive afterwards?
It is advisable for someone to drive you home on the first occasion. Some people feel a little weak afterwards – though you will be requested to stay in the unit until your blood pressure returns to normal. We recommend you do not return to work and rest following your first venesection to assess how you feel. You may then make a decision about your subsequent visits.
Are there any risks involved?
Bruising or Bleeding may occur at the puncture site, but this will be checked by the nurse before you leave. Any bruising should disappear after a few days. If Bleeding occurs later, apply pressure until the bleeding stops. If bleeding continues, ring your GP or call the Day Services Unit on 042 9385486 between the hours of 9am and 4pm.
What happens next?
You will be asked to come to room 5 in the out patients department on a regular basis to have your blood count monitored. Each time, depending on the results, the nurse will decide whether venesection is necessary. Your consultant will be kept informed and will continue to monitor your progress in out-patients.
For Further Information
Following your first appointment in outpatients with your consultant you will be contacted by the nurse to arrange your venesection treatment programme. If you have any questions, or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact the nurse on 042 9385486.