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FAQ: Therapeutic Phlebotomy


What is therapeutic phlebotomy?

Therapeutic phlebotomy is drawing blood for the purpose of treating a disease, most often, iron overload disease (Hemochromatosis) or polycythemia.

Is this a medical treatment?

Yes, and it is required to have a doctors order.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes. An appointment is needed. Call Central Scheduling at 630-856-7070.

Can you do any additional testing if it’s on my doctor’s order?

Yes, if it’s written on our order form it can be done. (If it requires fasting it should not be done at the same time.)

Do I have to eat before having it done?

You should eat within 4 hours of your appointment and drink plenty of fluids for a few days prior. Avoid caffeine and alcohol on the day of the donation.

Can I have this done if I have a cardiac problem?

Yes. You have to bring in cardiac clearance from the physician that is treating your heart problem.

What is the process? How long does it take?

Your visit will include a detailed health history, a mini physical exam and blood collection. We will ask you about any medical problems or illnesses. What medications you are on, if any. Have you currently are have ever had any cardiac abnormalities. Have you had any surgery within the last 12 months and do you have any allergies.

The blood collection takes about 10-15 minutes. The entire process takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

Following the collection a snack and beverage is given. It is important to drink a lot of fluids afterwards.

How much blood is taken?

Usually 1 pint of blood. The average person has 9-12 pints of blood. Your body will replace the fluid portion within 24 hours and the red cells in 4-8 weeks.

How will I feel afterwards?

You may resume routine activities after donating blood but avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exertion for 24 hours. If you feel dizzy, lie down until the feeling passes. If you feel prolonged discomfort, please call the Blood Center.

Where is the Adventist Lab Partners Blood Center located?

We are located on site at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital in the Elmwood Hall building (121 N. Elm St.). Parking is available outside the main entrance. Our direct telephone number is 630-856-7804.