Deferment of Medical Venesection

As part of our response to COVID-19 a national decision has been made to defer venesection procedures.

Waikato and Lakes regions: Venesections will be deferred for people with haemochromatosis & secondary iron overload, unless client has a significantly increased ferritin (Greater than 1,000 µg/l).

Bay of Plenty: Venesections will be deferred for people with haemochromatosis, secondary iron overload or secondary polycythaemia.

This decision has been made due to the increased risk of infection to people coming into the hospital / collection room environments for such procedures and because of the potential of reduced staffing as staff are relocated to other areas to cover sick leave or self-isolation leave.

At this time venesections are being postponed indefinitely. We will continue to keep the situation under close review and will restart when it is safe to do so. If you already have an appointment you will be contacted shortly with confirmation of cancellation.

We appreciate this may cause anxiety to some of you. We can reassure you that this has been agreed across all health boards with specialist input and that it is clinically safe for your venesections to be postponed.

There is no need for you to continue to monitor your blood levels whilst venesections are on hold. When the service restarts, we will be contacting you with new appointments and may ask you to have some bloods updated at that time.

For people with polycythaemia vera (and secondary polycythaemia’s in the Waikato and Lakes regions) – the need for venesections will be decided on a case by case basis with your specialist and blood tests should be continued with the usual directed frequency.

Thank you for your understanding.