Help, No Place Willing to Do Therapeutic Phlebotomy

I’m a patient of Defy Medical, Dr. Caulkins wrote me a script for a therapeutic phlebotomy because my hematocrit was high. See, the problem is none of these places apparently do therapeutic phlebotomy’s, they only accept donations, I tried that route, but when they centrifuged my blood it didn’t meet the criteria. So, I showed them my script and they still wouldn’t honor it. They told me I’d have to go to the hospital to have it done, so I called my local hospital and send them my defymedical script so that their medical director can approve it, guess what? Denied.

This is seriously a wild goose chase. I’m going to have to stop TRT because of this very reason, no point of being on it if I can’t keep a safe hematocrit level and be able to donate when it’s high.

Any advice? Should I get a phlebatomy kit and do it myself? I’m desperate at this point, and I can feel my hematocrit is high too.

Doesn’t this go against americans with disabilities act? refusing to treat a patient due to polycythemia vera?

Do it yourself. It’s so easy.

What’s your HCT level? Chill out, you aren’t going to die.


It’s not about dying, it’s about not being offered a simple service even though I have a written script.

18g straight to the juicy fluid! I like it. What do you do with all the blood and how do you measure it? Go until you feel light headed :joy:

I was talking this very topic with @zeek1414 this morning.

Scares me but if you gotta do it, then you gotta do it.

Maybe there is a trained phlebotomist somewhere on Craig’s list who does it

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You get a kit something like this. It measures exactly how much you are taking. Placing a needle in a vein seems scary at first but it’s really easy and hard to do any real damage.

Ya I personally wouldn’t reccomend to anyone who isn’t comfortable with it or has no understanding of the dynamics behind it.

For me personally I don’t have an issue with it and I’m educated enough and have the help of someone with experience.

But I’d be hesitant to just tell someone to grab a phlebotomy kit and give it the old college try.

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Because the reality is the majority of people aren’t comfortable jamming a needle into thier vein and watching 500ml of blood fill a bag up. This can easily lead to a shaky hand, infections, blown out veins and more.

To us its normal and seems easy but that’s simply not the case with the majority of the population.


So are you guys doing it yourselves because you’ve been denied at blood donation centers?

That 18g, can that only be used on the antecubital vein?

EDIT: holy shit that’s a 16G in that kit! what the actual fuck.

The one they used to take my blood was rated in inches! Not gauges lol.

I’d be nervous to do it alone, never know if you get queezy and pass out… then bleed to death

I don’t think anyone is comfortable doing it until they do it. I understand what you’re saying but I think it’s a little less risky than most would think. Blowing out a vein that size is pretty tough. When you run out of larger ones and have to do smaller ones then it can be more of an issue. There are YouTube videos that go indepth on technique and you can even buy a practice hand if needed to get comfortable.

That kit is an example. It’s the first one that popped up. You can get a different kit or switch out the needle.

That’s true. But as you see here on the forum a lot of guys are still trying to perfect IM injections in thier glutes and have a hard time doing that even after a while.

Debatbale. Watching videos and actually placing a butterfly needle in a vein and holding steady are two different things. If it were that easy phlebtomist wouldn’t have to take classes on it. They would just have a 1 hour orientation video as part of the hiring process. Intravenous blood infections can be easily and quickly lethal its not just an abcess they can drain like an IM infection.

Again to me it a super simple concept stick it in at an angle let it flow pull it and call it a day. If could draw my own blood for lab test at home and mail it in I would.

I’d personally use the cephalic vein altho those can roll a bit more making placing of the needle trickier they are easier IMO to hold steady and still bend your arm if needed.

Its a big needle you want a nice flow but it’s also not going an inch into a muscle it’s just going slightly under the skin into a vein so it’s really not painful.

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Well said

Where do you live? I googled. therapeutic phlebotomy and found several health centers within an hour that offer it in my area.

Central PA. I called around to a bunch of centers, giving me the same BS.

I hope one of these sites can help you. I am in eastern PA and so far do not have to donate blood.

Can you get your PCP or other local doctor to write the script?

The Blood bank at my local hospital did it with out even having a script and then I just sent her the one from Defy about a month later. Sucks you have to deal with this