Neonatal anemia

Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2008 Aug;13(4):239-47. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2008.02.009. Epub 2008 Apr 14.


Neonatal anemia and the need for red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are very common in neonatal intensive care units. Neonatal anemia can be due to blood loss, decreased RBC production, or increased destruction of erythrocytes. Physiologic anemia of the newborn and anemia of prematurity are the two most common causes of anemia in neonates. Phlebotomy losses result in much of the anemia seen in extremely low birthweight infants (ELBW). Accepting a lower threshold level for transfusion in ELBW infants can prevent these infants being exposed to multiple donors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Neonatal / diagnosis
  • Anemia, Neonatal / etiology*
  • Anemia, Neonatal / therapy*
  • Blood Transfusion / standards
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature


  • Erythropoietin