Red Blood Cell Transfusion and Clinical Outcomes in Extremely Low Birth Weight Preterm Infants

Wang et al, Pediatr Neonatol. 2017 

Background

Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is often considered a life-saving measure in critically ill neonates. The smallest and least mature

 infants tend to receive the largest amount of transfusions. RBC transfusion itself has also been suggested as an independent risk facto

r of poor clinical outcome in critical patients. Our aim is to study if there are associations between RBC transfusion and in-hospital mortality, short-term morbidities, and late neurodevelopmental outcome in extremely 

low birth weight (ELBW) preterm infants.

 Conclusion

RBC transfusion has a negative impact on survival in ELBW infants. It increases the risk of developing ROP and affects late neurodevelopment. Decisions of blood transfusion in these very immature infants should be made cautiously taking these deleterious results into consideration.