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Vol. 81, No. 4, 2002
Issue release date: May 2002
Biol Neonate 2002;81:236–243

Autologous Placental Blood Transfusion for the Therapy of Anaemic Neonates

Brune T. · Garritsen H. · Witteler R. · Schlake A. · Wüllenweber J. · Louwen F. · Jorch G. · Harms E.
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Almost 65% of all premature neonates with a birth weight <1,500 g receive at least one erythrocyte transfusion during their first weeks of life. In the present study, we examined the feasibility of autologous transfusions in neonates, using placental blood. Placental blood was obtained from 131 of 141 preterm and term infants using a special placental blood collecting system. Approximately 20 ml of placental blood per kilogram body weight could be harvested, irrespective of birth weight. One placental blood sample was contaminated with maternal erythrocytes; aerobe or anaerobe contamination was observed in any of the stored placental blood products (n = 119) after 35 days of storage. 19 of the 141 newborns needed allogeneic erythrocyte transfusions during the first 12 weeks of life. In 5 of these 19 patients, the amount of placental blood collected would have been enough to dispense with further allogeneic blood transfusions. After completion of the preclinical study, we transfused a total of 22 children, using autologous placental blood. 8 of the 10 infants with a birth weight between 1,000 and 2,000 g and 3 of 5 infants requiring surgical intervention directly after birth needed no further allogeneic blood transfusions. We, therefore, conclude that the collection and preparation of placental blood is feasible for clinical use. The target groups of neonates who are most likely to benefit are infants with a birth weight between 1,000 and 2,000 g and neonates requiring surgical intervention directly after birth.

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