Red cell transfusion and blood component therapyspecial considerations in neonates and children

Babies in Special Care Baby Units are now amongst the most intensively transfused of our hospital patients.

• To replace blood losses of investigative sampling.

• To alleviate anaemia of prematurity.


• Hb estimation alone is an inadequate assessment.

• Hb reduction with symptoms, e.g. failure to thrive, is needed to justify transfusion.

• Generally, neonatal Hb <10.5g/dL + symptoms—transfuse; if neonate requiring O2 support, aim for Hb 13.0g/dL.

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