Iron infusions now available for kids & teens with chronic iron deficiency

Iron infusions now available for kids & teens with chronic iron deficiency

The Garden Family Medical Clinic has introduced paediatric iron infusions to their clinic in response to parents struggling to address iron deficiency through oral treatments.
 
GP Dr Andrew Leech said, “We recognise the high rate of iron deficiency in children, the symptoms that this can lead to and the challenges associated with oral medication.”
 
Iron deficiency can cause problems such as fatigue, poor concentration and anaemia.  Symptoms of iron deficiency can mimic or exacerbate symptoms of ADHD or other neurodevelopmental conditions.
 
“We have completed a number of infusions on young children with autism and seen some positive results including improved mood, sleep and appetite as a result with ferritin general reaching close to 100 for the first time in their lives,” says Dr Andrew

The Garden Family Medical Clinic was created to provide an inviting clinic environment suited for children.

Why would an iron infusion be required?

Low iron levels are usually treated effectively with iron tablets of liquid.  Some children need to have iron given through a vein (intravenous or IV) as an infusion. 
 
Reason for needing an iron infusion include low iron levels that have not improved with iron tablets or liquid or because of side effects such as constipation or problems with absorption such as with Crohn’s disease. 
 
To be eligible for an iron infusion children must be aged five years or over, have a ferritin level of less than 20 and have failed oral therapy.

But Dr Andrew, my child hates needles ...

“In terms of cannulation, most of our children have been very accepting.”
 
“We have developed a good distraction based system and our clinic is very child friendly,” Dr Andrew says.
 
“We have purchased the Smiley Scope medical VR goggles, Buzzy Bees, TV with Netflix is available in the infusion room and we recommend using numbing cream prior.”

The Garden Medical Clinic uses the Smiley Scope medical VR goggles and other techniques to make the infusion process easier for children (and parents!).

How does it all work?

“There is an initial appointment required with our GPs to discuss the benefits, risks and if the child is eligible or suitable for an iron infusion,” says Dr Andrew.

“We provide a document to the family that outlines the benefits and the risks.  This is very similar to the consent forms that are used for paediatric iron infusions at Perth Children’s Hospital or the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.”

“We use hospital-based guidelines for dosing based on weight and ferritin.  Children are with us for approximately one hour and monitored for this entire period by their GP and nurse”.

What about side effects and risks?

“In the initial trial period of running this service we have seen approximately 50 children aged 5 to 12 years and over 100 aged 13 years and over,” says Dr Andrew.

“The most common side effect has been nausea and vomiting.  We remain vigilant and open with families around the risk of hypophotaemia, anaphylaxis and staining.”

Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital has a fact sheet on iron infusions that answers most commonly asked questions.  

How much does it cost?

The cost for an infusion is $350.  An initial consultation and the cost of the Ferinject iron are additional costs.  

How do I book?

“Families can book in for an initial consultation where we can provide more information and help them to book the procedure if the child is eligible and suitable for the treatment,” Dr Andrew says.

Bookings can be made online for our practices at Murdoch and Piara Waters here: https://thegardenmedical.com/