Attention CHOP clinicians: patient education should be printed and assigned via EPIC's Teaching Library.
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Deferoxamine (Desferal) Treatments for Patients in the Alex Scott Day Hospital

These instructions are for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) hematology patients scheduled for a deferoxamine (Desferal) infusion at the Alex Scott Day Hospital.

Important information:

Deferoxamine, also known by the brand name Desferal®, is a medicine used to treat iron overload that happens after multiple blood transfusions. The medicine works by attaching to iron in the body and helping it to leave the body in urine and stool. Having too much iron in your body can lead to long-term heart, liver and endocrine problems.

Deferoxamine is given as an infusion under the skin into the fatty tissue (subcutaneously) by a pump. The first dose of deferoxamine is given Alex Scott Day Hospital on the 3rd floor of the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care. This is a safety measure in case you have a reaction to the medicine.

The deferoxamine infusion takes 8 hours. You must report to the Day Hospital at 8 AM. If you do not arrive by 8 AM, you will be rescheduled for another day. The pharmacist cannot prepare medicine until you arrive. Please allow extra time for traffic and parking. Visit the CHOP parking site for up-to-date information about construction and parking options.

Once you arrive, your nurse will place the catheter under your skin and begin the infusion. They can answer any questions you have about the medicine.

Here are a few tips to make this time as stress free as possible:

  • Please notify the hematology team if you need to take any medicine from home while you are in the day hospital.

  • Call your hematology team if you have a fever or illness before the infusion. Your appointment may need to be rescheduled.

  • There is a playroom available in the day hospital. A child life specialist or a volunteer may be available to arrange activities. You are also welcome to bring favorite toys, books, videos and games.

  • We will provide box lunches that include a sandwich. Milk, fruit, pretzels and string cheese are also available. You are welcome to purchase food from the hospital cafeteria. Please bring special food if needed for you or your child.

  • Bring a change of clothing for younger children, if needed

After the first infusion is complete, future doses may be given at home. Your home care company will set up delivery and teach you how to give deferoxamine at home.

Please contact your CHOP healthcare team with questions or concerns:

Division of Hematology | Thalassemia Center


CHOP Main patients:
8:30am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday

Voorhees patients
8:00am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday

King of Prussia patients:
8:00am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday

Weekends, holidays and every day after
5:00pm, all patients: 215-590-1000, ask the
hospital operator for the hematologist on call.

For non-urgent issues, send your team a message in the MyCHOP portal.


Reviewed on June 6, 2023, by Janet Kwiatkowski, MD, MSCE

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