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Low hemoglobin/blood transfusion

dani hobbs

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My sister's WBC & RBC counts are low so she is taking Neulasta & Aranesp for these...but now her hemoglobin is so low that she had to stay in the hospital overnight for a blood transfusion, and may need another one. She just completed round 5 of her chemo, & I have been told that there is sometimes a "crash" right around this time in the course of treatment--is this the "crash"?? Has anyone else had to have transfusions? Mostly, we wonder, will this delay further chemo (she's supposed to have 6-8 rounds) and will she need a transfusion after every chemo treatment now???

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This is a very common side effect of chemo. I have had several transfussions and always feel a lot better after one. I usually get mine over a course of 4 or 5 hours and don't have to stay over night though. Typically the Dr. will adjust the chemo for the next round to try and not have the counts fall so low. I am also on Arenesp and Neupogen. I have my blood tested every week and I can tell the tech when he needs to draw extra to type and cross for a transfussion, lol. Haven't missed yet!

Prayers and best wishes for your sister and your family.

God Bless,


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I had to get a transfusion after each round, starting round 3; plus they increased my Procritt by half again from 40k to 60k and I still had a hard time keeping my counts up. The platelets took longer, but they went low after the 5th round and 6th round.

I am surprised by the 8 rounds, usually four is more normal with 6 being the max, after that the toxicity outweighs any benefits that might accrue.

Good luck to her



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I just had blood transfusion this past Saturday. I finished 5th round of chemo 10 days ago so I guess this was about the time for my RBC to take a big dip although I was hoping to make it through without having to have one. I do feel much better after the transfusion. They did it on an out-patient basis and it took about 7 hours for the two units. I'm also getting the ARANESP (never can spell that) and taking iron supplements. I would think I'm probably going to have to have another transfusion after round 6 (and the last one - yahoo) that begins up next Monday.

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Dani - Every chemo drug has its own "nadir" or point where counts are likely to drop to their lowest. Have your sister ask when the nadir occurs with her regimen.

She can then anticipate when the symptoms of anemia will occur, and when to be especially cautious about infections. The drugs are effective for raising counts, of course, but being able to anticipate the side effects might give her a sense of control over them.

Good luck to you both, Teresa

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