Exchange transfusion with fresh heparinized blood is a safe procedure. Experiences from 1 069 newborns

Acta Paediatr Scand. 1985 May;74(3):360-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1985.tb10984.x.


1 069 newborns were subjected to exchange transfusion with fresh heparinized blood in the years 1968, 1971, 1974, 1977 and 1981. There were 258 infants with Rh disease, 328 with hyperbilirubinemia with ABO incompatibility, 436 with hyperbilirubinemia without ABO incompatibility and 47 infants without hyperbilirubinemia or evidence of hemolytic disease. The total annual number of infants decreased gradually from 279 in 1968 to 130 in 1981. A total of 48 infants of the 1 069 newborns died during neonatal period but the death was possibly related to exchange transfusion in four of them. There were serious complications in 14 infants during and in only five infants after the procedure. Morbidity related to exchange transfusion was the highest among newborns with serious basic disease. Using the presented bilirubin nomograms and fresh heparinized blood we have not found that the hazards of exchange transfusion would have overgone the risks of hyperbilirubinemia.

MeSH terms

  • Exchange Transfusion, Whole Blood* / adverse effects
  • Exchange Transfusion, Whole Blood* / mortality
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / therapy
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Jaundice, Neonatal / therapy*