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Recent advances toward defining the benefits and risks of erythrocyte transfusions in neonates
  1. Robert D Christensen1,
  2. Sarah Ilstrup2
  1. 1Women and Newborn, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  2. 2Transfusion Medicine, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  1. Correspondence to Robert D Christensen, Intermountain Healthcare, Women and Newborn, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; robert.christensen{at}


Like many treatments available to small or ill neonates, erythrocyte transfusions carry both benefits and risks. This review examines recent publications aimed at better defining those benefits and those risks, as means of advancing evidence-based neonatal intensive care unit transfusion practices. Since decisions regarding whether to not to order an erythrocyte transfusion are based, in part, on the neonate's blood haemoglobin concentration, the authors also review recent studies aimed at preventing the haemoglobin from falling to a point where a transfusion is considered.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.