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Erythrocyte transfusions in neonates: is it safe to co-infuse dextrose-containing solutions?
  1. Robert D Christensen,
  2. Sarah Ilstrup
  1. Women and Newborns Program and Transfusion Medicine, Intermountain Healthcare, Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  1. Correspondence to Robert D Christensen, Neonatology and Hematology, Intermountain Healthcare, McKay-Dee Hospital Center, 4th Floor, Ogden, UT 84403, USA; rdchris4{at}

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Red blood cell (RBC) transfusions are an integral part of neonatal intensive care medicine.1 We recently reported that 14% of patients admitted to the Intermountain Healthcare neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) receive one or more RBC transfusions and that the average transfused neonate receives 2.4 RBC transfusions during their stay in the NICU.2

When a transfusion is administered to a newborn infant, the intravenous tubing through which the donor cells are infused is temporarily dedicated to this sole purpose. Specifically, during the 3 or 4 h the donor cells are infusing, no medications or other intravenous fluids are co-infused into the same tubing. When a neonate with only one intravenous tube needs a transfusion, a concern about hypoglycaemia during the transfusion raises the question whether a second intravenous …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.