Therapeutic phlebotomy procedures and their impact on a rural hospital's red blood cell inventory and fiscal stature

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Therapeutic phlebotomy (TP) programs offer an important community service and often provide financial and donor unit resources for the hospital. This study assessed the financial impact and red blood cell (RBC) inventory contribution of a small, rural hospital-based TP program.


TP procedures over 13 months were evaluated at a 142-bed rural hospital. The hospital had a Food and Drug Administration variance for a hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) donor program. The revenue for the non-HH therapeutic phlebotomies and the savings attained for units added to RBC inventory from allogeneic eligible HH donors were compiled.


During the study, 84 patients were involved in the TP program. Of the 62 HH patients, 43 met eligibility requirements for allogeneic donations resulting in 207 donor units collected for the blood bank inventory and a savings of $21,000 in blood costs. Additionally, 22 non-HH patients underwent 183 TP procedures earning the hospital over $15,000 in net revenue.


The TP program at this small, rural 142-bed hospital provided a financial gain of $36,000 during the 13-month study period. The HH donor program contributed approximately 4% to the RBC inventory. The TP program at this small, rural 142-bed hospital proved to be financially lucrative and provided a community service to patients.

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