Treatment Location

Therapeutic Phlebotomy

What Are the Requirements for Therapeutic Phlebotomy?

A physician order including the amount of blood to be withdrawn, the frequency of donation, and the desired hemoglobin level are required. A health history and mini-physical are done, and consent for phlebotomy is given.

Please note that the maximum amount of blood that can be withdrawn within a 24-hour period is either 500 mL or 10% of the patient’s blood volume, whichever is smaller. Furthermore, the patient must sign a Request for Therapeutic Phlebotomy form before undergoing the treatment.


  • Note: A signed Request for Therapeutic Phlebotomy form must be signed by the patient prior to treatment.

What is Therapeutic Phlebotomy?

A prescribed amount of blood is withdrawn for medical reasons in a therapeutic phlebotomy. The patient’s physician must provide a written order that specifies the date and the amount of blood to be drawn.

For a Standing Order Therapeutic Phlebotomy, it is necessary to determine the frequency of bleeding and establish a hemoglobin or hematocrit level at which the patient should undergo the procedure.

What Diseases are Treated with Therapeutic Phlebotomy?

Hemochromatosis is a condition that affects how the body utilizes iron. The body absorbs an excessive amount of iron from the foods we consume. This surplus iron gets stored mainly in the liver, pancreas, and skin, resulting in cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, an enlarged heart with congestive heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and increased pigmentation of the skin.

Polycythemia is characterized by an elevation in both the number of red blood cells circulating in the body and the total volume of blood.

Porphyries are metabolic disorders that involve hepatosplenomegaly (enlargement of the liver and spleen), photosensitivity (sensitivity to light), pigmentation changes, and the presence of distinct red coloration in the urine.

How Often Can Therapeutic Phlebotomies be Performed?

As often as every few days may be needed to improve the symptoms of the blood disorder. Phlebotomies may be scheduled on a regular basis, such as monthly, or as needed in response to the symptoms of the disease after the initial desired results are reached.

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