Intravenous iron sucrose vs. blood transfusion in the management of moderate postpartum iron deficiency anemia: A non-randomized quasi-experimental study

Heliyon. 2022 Feb 17;8(2):e08980. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e08980. eCollection 2022 Feb.


Introduction: Postpartum anemia is often over-treated with blood transfusion without clear indication despite having a potential alternative of parenteral iron therapy. The present study aimed to compare the efficacy of intravenous (IV) iron sucrose with blood transfusion in increasing the hematological parameters in postpartum women with moderate anemia.

Methods: This prospective non-randomized quasi-experimental study was conducted among 44 hemodynamically stable postpartum women with moderate anemia (Hb 7-8 g/dl) in the Obstetrics department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) from January to June 2021. Among them, 22 patients received 600 mg of IV iron sucrose after 48 h of delivery for three subsequent days and the other 22 patients received two units of blood transfusion after 48 h of delivery in two subsequent days. The primary endpoint was increase in Hemoglobin (Hb) and serum ferritin level after 6 weeks of the intervention. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA (mixed factor ANOVA) was applied to compare between before and after effect in the two intervention groups.

Results: Baseline Hb and ferritin were 7.4 g/dl and 73.5 μg/l in IV iron group and 7.3 g/dl and 73.2 μg/l in blood transfusion group. Mean Hb level was increased 4.2 g/dl in IV iron sucrose group and 4.5 g/dl in blood transfusion group at sixth week. Besides, serum ferritin level was increased 40.5 μg/l and 44.8 μg/l after six weeks in IV iron sucrose group and blood transfusion group respectively. Other hematological parameters like reticulocyte count, MCV, MCH, and MCHC also increased significantly after intervention in both groups. However, no significant difference was noticed in the change of hematological parameters in between the groups.

Conclusions: The IV iron sucrose is as effective as blood transfusion in replenishing the hemoglobin and iron storage status in hemodynamically stable women with moderate post-partum anemia. This could be an effective alternative of blood transfusion in treating these patients, especially in resource-poor settings.

Keywords: Blood transfusion; Hemoglobin; Iron sucrose; Postpartum anemia; Serum ferritin.