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  • Northside East

Haemochromatosis patients can help sustain blood supply

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 7:59am
Haemochromatosis patients can help  sustain blood supply

Raheny and Dublin GAA star Brian Fenton pictured with Amanda Mackey-Hatton, from Kilbarrack, at the ITBS clinic in D’Olier Street. PHOTO: MAXWELLS

Haemochromatosis patients can help  sustain blood supply

Raheny and Dublin GAA star Brian Fenton pictured with Amanda Mackey-Hatton, from Kilbarrack, at the ITBS clinic in D’Olier Street. PHOTO: MAXWELLS

THE Irish Haemochromatosis Association (IHH) and the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) have worked closely together in making it possible for people with Haemochromatosis (HH) to attend blood donation clinics nationwide to have their condition treated.  Details of the service were announced at the launch of National Haemochromatosis Day. 

Haemochromatosis, often known as the Celtic disease, is a genetic disorder, particularly found in Irish people and often undiagnosed, that means too much iron is present in a person’s blood. 

Symptoms include chronic fatigue, joint pain, liver damage and organ failure if untreated. Treatment is simple and effective, involving the removal of blood and 
is similar to blood donation. 

Until now, treatment was carried out at hospitals and GP practices, and the blood was discarded. Now, many HH patients will be able to attend any blood donation clinic throughout the country and their blood will be collected and used as part of the national blood supply.

Stephen Cousins, IBTS National Donor Services Manager, said: “IBTS is now offering HH patients the opportunity to become blood donors at any one of our clinics throughout the country. 

“For these patients, it is a chance to save a life. They can check out the specific HH and blood donation criteria at www.giveblood.ie.&rdquo

The IHA is encouraging people who are suffering from symptoms such as chronic fatigue, joint pain, diabetes, irregular heartbeat, enlarged liver and loss of sex drive to consult their GP. 

As many as one in 83 Irish people are predisposed to iron overload while 1 in 5 are carriers of the gene. A simple blood test to check your iron status can confirm or rule out iron overload. 

Once diagnosed, treatment is simple with regular removal of blood.

If you have any concerns about the condition please call the IHA support group on 01-8735911. To check HH and Blood donation eligibility and clinic details, visit www.giveblood.ie or call 1850 731 137.

Haemochromatosis Awareness Week took place from June 3-10. 

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here