The purpose of this study was to examine some aspects of umbilical cord blood collection for autologous transfusion in premature infants. All 120 microbacterial cultures (aerobic and anaerobic) of cord blood samples as well as 30 cultures of mycoplasma were treated. Cord prothrombin fragment (F 1 + 2) concentrations were quantified at one and 10 minutes after clamping of the cord. F 1 + 2 concentrations assessed on 25 newborn infants were similar and no linear association with time of clamping could be drawn. This means that cord blood thrombosis is not activated for at least 10 minutes following clamping of the cord. As far as is known, the first newborn infant to benefit from this method of transfusion is reported here. The premature infant received two portions of autologous blood (on days 5 and 7). No untoward effects were noted. Blood, collected from the umbilical cord, is a safe source for autotransfusion, provided that bacteriological testing has been carried out.
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