Component therapy

Indian J Pediatr. 2003 Aug;70(8):661-6. doi: 10.1007/BF02724257.


The dramatic advances that have taken place in recent years in the care of sick and premature infants also have been matched by a similar increase in the use of blood transfusion therapy. Haematological features indicate that a newborn has a blood volume of 85-125 ml/kg the foetal haemoglobin is 60-85% and average Hb in full term infant is 18 gm/dl. By 2-3 months it falls to 11-12 g/dl the main cause of anemia are iron poor diet, weaning diets recurrent or chronic infections and hemolytic episodes in malarious areas. The red cells transfusions are usually top up transfusions, exchange transfusions, partial exchange transfusions. Top up- are for investigational losses and correction of mild degrees of anemias, upto to 5-15 ml/kg. They comprise 90% of all neonatal transfusions and are used in low birth babies in special care units for a maximum of 9-10 episodes. The walk in donor programs once popular are not much in vogue. The threshold for transfusion is 8-10 g/dl Hb for upto 5 weeks. Exchange transfusions are done for correction of anemia, removal of bilirubin, removal of antibodies and replacement of red cells. Ideally plasma reduced red cells that are not older than 5 days are used. It is prepared by removal of 120 ml of standard whole blood donation. The advantage of fresh cells is that hyperkalemia is avoided and good post transfusion survival acceptable red cell oxygen affinity. However it has to be screened for sickle cell disease and G6PD deficiency. Indications for exchange transfusion are kernicterus, neonatal hemolysis, G6PD deficiency, ARDS, neonatal sepsis, DIC and neonatal isoimmune thrombocytopaenia. Complications include over transfusion, perforation of major vessels, hypocalcaemia, citrate toxicity, hypothermia, hypoglycaemia, thrombocytopenia, necrotizing enterocolitis, GVHD, bacterial, viral infections. Partial exchange transfusions are done for symptomatic anemia, where Hb<10 g/dl, it is indicated in polycythemia and hyperviscosity syndromes. Exchange volume = Blood volume x (observed Hct-Desired HCt) divided observed Hct. Points to consider-there is weak expression of ABO antigens so particular care while grouping. Transfusing volumes should be 2-5 ml/kg/hour in paediatric bags of 50-100 ml with infusion devices. Platelet transfusion are indicated in neonatal throbocytopaenia, thrombocytopaenia due to sepsis, DIC, bacterial pathogens, CMV, TORCHS, Obstetric conditions such as pre eclampsia, intrauterine death abruption placenta birth injury hypoxia schock neonatal iso immune thrombocytopaenia and maternal ITP. Administration 1 RDE/pack per 2.5 kg single dose of fresh platelets less than 24hrs which contains 55 x 10(9) cells. This also contributes fresh plasma so is useful for coagulation defects also, though there is a risk of CMV and GVHD due to leucocyte contamination. Granulocyte concentrate; Gravity leucopheresis-1:8 ratio of 60 ml of 6% HES made to stand for 1hr.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Component Transfusion / methods*
  • Exchange Transfusion, Whole Blood / methods
  • Granulocytes
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukocyte Transfusion / methods
  • Platelet Transfusion / methods