Iron therapy

Iron deficiency regularly occurs in heart failure patients, but the symptoms tend to be vague and non-specific. Since iron deficiency is associated with lower quality of life, reduced exercise capacity and more frequent hospital admissions, we screen systematically for iron deficiency. Through iron therapy, we hope to have a positive impact on your exercise capacity and quality of life.

Preparation

No specific preparation is required.

If you are ill on the day that your therapy has been scheduled, contact the heart failure nurse to postpone the appointment.

Upon arrival at the hospital, use your electronic identification card to check in at one of the kiosks. After receiving your number, report to the check-in desk. There, you will be given a wristband and patient labels. Next, check in at the day hospital of the Heart Centre. Take gate E and follow the signs labelled G1 Cardiology Day Hospital. The heart failure nurse will be there to greet you and give you a detailed explanation of the procedure for the therapy. We will only start once you have given your consent.

Procedure

To allow for monitoring of the therapeutic effect, both your quality of life and exercise capacity are measured before the treatment is started. This is done by means of a questionnaire and a walking test. The iron deficiency is supplemented by infusion. This iron infusion takes 30 minutes. During the procedure, your blood pressure and pulse rate are checked regularly.

If you experience any discomfort, let the nurse know straight away.

Risks

Allergic reactions occur in rare cases. In that case, the infusion is stopped immediately and you will be given medication to treat the allergic reaction straight away.

Results

The results of the treatment are monitored in different ways: through the laboratory results, which show the iron levels in the blood, and through quality of life and exercise capacity measurements before and after the treatment. You can discuss the results with your cardiologist during your check-up appointment.

Aftercare

After the procedure, you are asked to stay for 30 minutes to check for any possible side effects. After that, you are free to go home. If required, you will be given an appointment for a second infusion after one week. You will be given a check-up appointment with your attending cardiologist for six weeks after the infusion(s). Your iron levels and anaemia will be checked again. If severe iron deficiency persists, your physician will schedule an additional infusion. We will continue to check your iron levels and anaemia status every six months. The questionnaire and walking test will be repeated too.

Latest publication date: 05/02/2021