The Venesection Clinic performs therapeutic venesection, (removal of approximately 450-500 mls of blood from the circulation) for patients with haematological (blood) conditions that require treatment for life, such as:

  • Haemochromatosis, (a genetic disorder causing iron accumulation);
  • Polycythaemia, Rubra Vera (a bone marrow disorder causing an excess of red blood cells)
  • Porphyria, Cutanea Tarda (an autoimmune disorder causing irritable rash/blisters).

The venesection clinic also treat post bone marrow transplant patients who are iron overloaded due to multiple blood transfusions.

The frequency of visits depends on the specific condition and is determined by blood test results, which are tracked and monitored by the team of specialist Venesection Registered Nurses. Each venesection treatment lasts from 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on variable factors, e.g. venous access. 



Patients are assessed on the day by qualified medical personnel to confirm that they are fit for the procedure. Patients with cardiac conditions must have clearance from their cardiologist. Patients will be contacted by Venesection Unit staff to assess any medications that may need to be omitted prior to the procedure.


Patients require a medical referral to the on-call Haematologist or to the Haematologist in charge of the Venesection Unit. During working hours patients can also be discussed and referred to the service through the Venesection Unit Registered Nurses.

Urgent cases

Urgent cases need to be referred to the on-call Haematologist for RNSH via the Hospital switchboard telephone 02 9926 7111.

Other Information

Patients are required to have something to eat and drink (1.5 litres of water) prior to attending for a venesection procedure. Any medication taken to help control your blood pressure and/or that helps thin your blood (anticoagulant) will need to be omitted on the day of venesection.

If you drive yourself to the appointment it is crucial that you feel well before you drive home. The alternative would be to bring a relative or friend with you for the first few visits to escort you home.

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Northern Sydney Cancer Centre, Level 1, Royal North Shore Hospital
Reserve Rd
St Leonards, NSW 2065

Finding Us: Venesection is located within the Apheresis Unit in The Northern Sydney Cancer Centre, which is on Level 1, Royal North Shore Hospital. When entering the hospitals main entrance via Reserve Road, take the Orange Lifts (or stairs) in the hospitals main foyer on Level 3, down two floors to Level 1 and follow the signs to the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre.  The Venesection Unit is in the Apheresis Unit to the left of the main reception and waiting area.

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Open Hours - Allows authors to enter rich text content.  Open Hours


Monday – Friday
7.30am –  4.15pm

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02 9463 1225