Hereditary or primary hemochromatosis (HH) is a leading cause of iron overload disease. People with this condition absorb additional amounts of iron from their daily diet. The human body cannot rid itself of extra iron. Over time, the excess iron builds up in major organs such as the heart, liver, pancreas, joints and pituitary gland. If the extra iron is not removed, these organs can become diseased.
When diagnosed with HH, it is very important to reduce your iron levels to a normal level. Your physician will monitor the level of iron in your body and prescribe a therapeutic blood removal or phlebotomy to accomplish this. Therapeutic phlebotomy is the same as regular blood donation but requires a doctor’s order (prescription).
There is no charge for therapeutic phlebotomy for people diagnosed with hemochromatosis, and if you meet all routine criteria for blood donation, your blood will be used to save a life!
When hemochromatosis is diagnosed early and treated before organs are damaged, a person can live a normal life expectancy. However, untreated HH increases the risk for diseases and conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and conditions such as arthritis, diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis of the liver, hypothyroidism, depression, infertility, impotence, irregular heart beat or heart attack, and some cancers.
San Diego Blood Bank wants to teach you how to make the donation process safe for yourself and patients who might receive your blood. Please read this information before you donate. If you have any questions now or anytime during the screening process, please ask a member of our blood center staff.
We rely on your accuracy and honesty. It is essential to answer all questions with complete honesty for the safety of patients who may receive your blood. All information you provide is confidential.