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Showing posts from February, 2014

10 things to know about ports, the ones for blood not ships

The following 10 points about "ports" that are installed in patients who need to endure a lot of blood drawing come from my wife, Chey Cobb, who was diagnosed with hereditary hemochromatosis or HH in 2008. As you may have read elsewhere on this site, HH can result in your body having too much iron. This can be measured by checking your ferritin level. Ferritin is "a ubiquitous intracellular protein that stores iron and releases it in a controlled fashion". (Wikipedia)

The standard treatment for people with excess iron, as indicated by higher than desirable ferritin numbers, is to draw blood. When you give blood it removes iron from your system, and that is one reason the Red Cross does not allow you to give "whole blood" more than every 56 days. But people who suffer from iron overload may need to be bled many times per month for a period of months in order to reduce excess iron (as determined by repeated ferritin tests). The point is, frequent blood draws…