Background Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is the commonest cause of anaemia in pregnancy affecting 19% of the Leeds pregnant population1. It is associated with maternal morbidity including fatigue and postpartum depression2. It is also linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes including preterm delivery and intrauterine growth restriction.3
Aim To assess the use of intravenous iron sucrose antenatally in women with iron deficiency anaemia who were intolerant to oral treatment and its efficacy in increasing haemoglobin levels.
Method There were 23 patients who received iron sucrose injections in the antenatal period, identified retrospectively from the antenatal day records in the Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
Results Out of 23 patients in our cohort, 9 (39%) were given iron sucrose injections after 37 weeks gestation.2 women (9%) received the injections between 20–30 weeks. The remaining 12 patients (52%) had their injections between 31–36 weeks. The mean gestation for commencing treatment was 34 weeks. The mean cohort haemoglobin level before treatment was 8.5 g/dl which improved to 9.9 g/dl after treatment. The maximum number of doses of iron sucrose injections used was 4. None of the patients required blood transfusion post-delivery. 2 patients (9%) delivered preterm between 31–37 weeks. 20 babies (87%) were born with an average birth weight between 2.5 kg–4.0 kg.
Conclusion Iron sucrose injections are very effective in increasing the haemoglobin level antenatally in women who can’t tolerate the oral preparation or very severely anaemic.
Lee J, Chang C. Audit on Iron Deficiency in Pregnancy in Leeds – Student Selected Component project.
Crown EJ et al, Low Hemoglobin Level is a Risk Factor for Postpartum Depression. The Journal of Nutrition 2003 133:4139–42.
Williams MD, Wheby MS. Anaemia in pregnancy. Med Clin North Am 1992 76(3):631–4.
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