Reducing blood transfusion requirements in preterm infants by a new device: a pilot study

Acta Paediatr. 2009 Feb;98(2):247-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.01082.x. Epub 2008 Oct 13.


Objective: To test a new device designed to salvage red blood cells (RBCs) from blood samples drawn from preterm infants, with the intent of decreasing blood loss and lowering the requirements for RBC transfusions.

Design: A case-controlled pilot study was conducted in two Israeli neonatal intensive care units in large municipal hospitals. Twenty low-birthweight preterm infants were randomly and equally divided into the ErythroSave group or a control group. All blood tests in the study group (except for complete blood count and coagulation parameters) were obtained during the first week of life by the new device in the study group and by ordinary syringes in the control group. The main outcome measure was the total number of units of blood needed.

Results: The average volume of blood obtained for laboratory analyses from each infant was 27 mL in the ErythroSave group and 24 mL in controls (not significant). The average volume of transfused packed cells was 6.4 mL for the ErythroSave group and 21.3 mL for the controls (p = 0.008).

Conclusion: The use of ErythroSave for sampling blood significantly reduced blood transfusion requirements in premature infants compared to sampling by conventional syringes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion / statistics & numerical data
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cytapheresis / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion*
  • Female
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects