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Blood coagulates quickly and not able to draw. How to treat polycythemia other than by phlebotomy?

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How to treat polycythemia other than by phlebotomy. My blood coagulates too quickly and is unable to be drawn. No one has any other ideas.
Posted Mon, 29 Jul 2013 in Blood Disorders
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 50 minutes later
Thanks for your query.
Polycythemia is of two types- primary, when no other cause is found or secondary, due to other causes like lung disease, high-altitude, smoking, liver/kidney tumors.
If primary polycythemia is diagnosed then it can be treated by phlebotomy +/- drugs to bring down the RBC counts. The use of these depend upon various factors like when patients are at high risk of thrombosis (age older than 60 years and/or prior thrombosis), or in the presence of symptomatic spleen enlargement, platelet count higher than 1500 × 10^9/L, unexplained high white cell count exceeding 20 to 25 × 10^9/L, or disease-related symptoms.
Hydroxyurea is a good drug to start with and there are other alternatives if required.
You should discuss these options with your hematologist.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer further followup queries, if any.
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Follow-up: Blood coagulates quickly and not able to draw. How to treat polycythemia other than by phlebotomy? 45 hours later
There are no other issues - spleen, kidney, liver all good. Both my primary doctor and oncologist will not prescribe "blood thinners". We've tried phlebotomy 3 times at various locations. Blood is too thick so won't come out. Is there diet or natural supplements to help? I know not to eat leafy greens (vitamin K).
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 1 hour later
Diet or supplements are not going to help. I guess you need to follow your doctors' advice then. They may prescribe hydroxyurea in near future.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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