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OC-057 Anaemia and iron deficiency in adults; how to manage it for nurses. a new guide from the royal college of nursing
  1. I Mason1,
  2. D Holloway2,
  3. K Hurrell3,
  4. S Johnston4,
  5. E Whitmore3
  1. 1Royal Free London Foundation Trust
  2. 2Guys & Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
  3. 3NHS Blood and Transplant
  4. 4Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK


Introduction Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is the most common cause of anaemia in primary care and causes >57,000 emergency admissions to hospital/yr at a cost to the NHS of £55.48 m. Effective identification and management is often overlooked. Dealing with IDA prevents complications and blood transfusion use with a cost saving of £8.43 m per year. These guidelines have been developed by expert nurses from relevant specialties. They are aimed at all nurses, health care assistants, midwives and health visitors from all specialties and backgrounds.

Method The document gives guidance on; identifying IDA and escalating management understanding how IDA occurs, give dietary advice and using oral iron supplements, the use of intravenous iron with practical tips for its delivery.good patient information links. It gives specialist guidance to nurses working in renal disease, gastroenterology, obstetrics and gynaecology and patient blood management.

Results The main guidance contains; Definition of IDA, iron metabolism and pathophysiology, storage or iron, causes of functional and actual iron deficiency, measuring iron status, common symptoms of anaemia, history taking and examination, dietary iron, oral iron supplements, practical advice for administrating intravenous iron, use of blood transfusion and preoperative optimisation of patients.

The GI appendix discusses IDA in coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease, and gives case study examples to show the impact of effective nursing intervention on patiient outcomes.

Conclusion These newly published Royal College of Nursing Guidelines provide an invaluable resource about all areas of iron deficiency management for nurses from all backgrounds and specialties. The specialist appendices provide extra information for nurses working within renal disease, obstetrics and gyanecology, patient blood management and gastroenterology.

Disclosure of interest None Declared.


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  2. Derbyshire E. Strategies to improve iron status in women at risk of developing anaemia. Nurs Stand. 2012;26(20):51–57

  3. Goddard AF, James MW, McIntyre AS, Scott BS. Guidelines for the management or iron deficiency anaemia. Gut 2011;60:1309–1316

  4. Pavord S, Myers B, Robinson S, Allard S, Strong J, Oppenheimer C. UK guideline on the management of iron deficiency in pregnancy. London: BCSH, 2011

  5. Zimmerman MB, Hurrell RF. Nutritional iron deficiency. Lancet 2007;270(9586):511–520

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