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I should take her back to the person who did the recent blood tests, which was presumably her GP/PCP. You want the continuity of personnel and thought process to be sure your mother will get the most appropriate treatment.
If she has received several transfusions fortunately red blood cells provide RBC & are loaded with ferritin (iron). Iron is the building block for red cell production and a person can receive a lot of iron from a blood transfusion.
Good luck to you!
Transfusions are given to replace deficient red blood cells and will not completely correct the iron deficiency. Red blood cell transfusions will only provide temporary improvement. It is important to find out why she is anemic and treat the cause as well as the symptoms.
See if her doctor and your mum would consider intravenous (IV) iron. It’s generally used to treat iron deficiency in patients who do not absorb iron well in the gastrointestinal tract, patients with severe iron deficiency or chronic blood loss, patients who are receiving supplemental erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates blood production, or patients who cannot tolerate oral iron. Usually they refer to a hematologist to supervise the iron infusions. IV iron comes in different preparations:
Large doses of iron can be given at one time when using iron dextran. Iron sucrose and ferric gluconate require more frequent doses spread over several weeks. Some patients may have an allergic reaction to IV iron, so a test dose is advisable before the first infusion. Allergic reactions are more common with iron dextran if so they can switch to a different preparation. Severe side effects other than allergic reactions are rare and include urticaria (hives), pruritus (itching), and muscle and joint pain.
It’s hard watching loved ones make choices you wouldn’t, I hope your doctor friend can help.
I understand that this is not the choice that YOU would like her to make, but it is HER choice.
Since meat is a good source but expensive now, I found a substitute in broccoli, which I use in salads along with spinach. It makes a world of difference.
Do you think you could get her to include either meat or some iron rich foods, if this is the cause?
Or do you think that she's made a determination not to
That said, if your mother passes out again, I'd call 911 and have the paramedics talk her into going to the hospital. My sister and I did that a few times too.