People with primary myelofibrosis who also have significant scarring of the bone marrow may need blood transfusions to restore and maintain healthy blood cell levels.
Blood transfusions are given as an intravenous (IV) infusion through a catheter inserted into a vein in the arm. They can last for several hours and are used as often as once or twice a week.
The procedure is generally safe, but repeated transfusions can cause allergic reactions or a buildup of iron in the body, which can damage the liver, heart, or pancreas.
To manage high iron levels, doctors can prescribe chelating agents, which help rid the body of extra iron through the urine or stool. They are given as an infusion over several hours for a few days a week or in pill form, taken daily by mouth for a period of time determined by your doctor.
People with myelofibrosis may need psychological support, supportive care, and integrative health therapies to help them cope with ongoing blood transfusions.