Guidelines for transfusion of erythrocytes to neonates and premature infants. Fetus and Newborn Committee, Canadian Paediatric Society.
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The transfusion of erythrocytes to neonates and premature infants is common and should be minimized through a reduction in the number of blood samples taken for laboratory tests. The risks to patients have been minimized with current blood-banking techniques, although neonates and premature infants may require special consideration. The indications for transfusion of erythrocytes to neonates include the presence of shock, a loss of 10% or more of the blood volume within 72 hours when further blood sampling is expected, a hemoglobin level of less than 130 g/L in neonates with cardio-respiratory disease who require increased oxygen-carrying capacity, and a hemoglobin level of less than 80 to 100 g/L in neonates with tachypnea, tachycardia, recurrent apnea, poor feeding or failure to gain weight. The attending physician should consider these indications along with clinical judgement to ensure safe and effective erythrocyte transfusion.
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