Neonatal RBC transfusions: do benefits outweigh risks?
Iskander, I.F.; Salama, K.M.; Gamaleldin, R.M.; Seghatchian, J.
Transfusion and Apheresis Science: Official Journal of the World Apheresis Association: Official Journal of the European Society for Haemapheresis 57(3): 431-436
Preterm neonates represent one of the most transfused categories of patients. Their target hematocrits, however, are mainly based on expert opinion. The risk of transfusions are very high in the smallest preterm baby with a weak immune response, immature antioxidant ability, fragile germinal matrix and impaired cerebral autoregulation, yet red cell transfusions remain the only life saving measure in the baby with symptomatic anemia. Minimizing phlebotomy losses, following a restrictive transfusion policy and using screened, leukocyte depleted, irradiated, single donor blood remain the best means of avoiding the possible risks while maximizing the benefits of red cell transfusions in the preterm newborn.