Anemia is a condition in which the blood doesn't have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin or is low in volume. The red blood cells carry oxygen in the blood and deliver it to the rest of the body. Neonatal anemia is defined as anemia that occurs in an infant who is less than 28 days old. In premature infants, anemia is often present at birth; in healthy term infants, the anemia might not be apparent until a week or two after birth. Several different factors can cause or contribute to the development of neonatal anemia. These causes are categorized into four types: blood loss, rapid breakdown of the red blood cell, inadequate red blood cell production, pre-mature birth with the most common cause of anemia in neonates being blood loss.
The following are the causes of anemia in neonates:
Most babies don’t have any symptoms from normal newborn anemia. When a baby does have symptoms of anemia, they happen because the cells in the body are not getting enough oxygen from the blood. Symptoms may include:
A baby’s red blood cells can be counted with a simple blood test called Packed Cell Volume (PCV).
How is it treated?
Neonatal anemia treatment depends on cause and severity. A severe case of anemia might require a blood transfusion, and a mild case of transient anemia might not require treatment at all. When the cause of the neonatal anemia is a hereditary blood disorder, the underlying cause of the anemia also must be treated. In the case of preterm infants, anemia can be prevented, or the risks reduced, by limiting the drawing of blood for laboratory tests.
Facts about Neonatal Anaemia:
Iron supplements or iron-fortified formula may cause constipation, which means that your baby may have hard bowel movements or fewer bowel movements. Therefore, do not give your baby iron unless it’s prescribed by the doctor and do not give more than prescribed.
Please contact the Paediatric department: