Blood Transfusion

I was wondering how many of ya'll had a preemie who received a blood transfusion. My son is having a test done Thursday that will tell if he is making his own iron yet and if his blood is any lower. If it's any lower at all, he's going to have a transfusion. I was just wondering your experience and if they had any reaction to it. Thank you very much.

Mom of Lucas, 31 weeker now 5 weeks old.

Report post

18 replies. Join the discussion

since he has been born no reactions just that he has felt alot better after each one.
His last transfusion was on the 20th.

Report post

Hi, I'm a mother of a 27 weeker who has been in the hospital for about seven weeks now. She is doing great now but when she was first born, she could not make enough blood for herself and with all the blood that the hospital was taking out for labs and what not, she needed to replace some of it. All in all, she received blood 4 times. However, unlike a complete transfusion where they take all blood out and replace with new blood, she just recieved some new blood. I think this is what you are talking about. Preemies recieve the highest grade blood from the blood bank and they whatch them carefully to see if there is a reaction. It worked out well for my daughter because now she just gets shots of "epogen?" to help her make more red blood cells and carry oxygen and she gets extra iron too.. Hope this helps!

Jessica

Report post

Hi. I had a 29 weeker, Dani, who had IUGR due to a blood disorder I have. She was 2 lb 4 oz and 13 in long at birth. I was told that my daughter would not live 48 hours after her birth unless she would receive a blood transfusion. However, because of religous convictions and medical concerns, I was opposed to the transfusion. Its the only form of medical treatment that I dont agree with by the way. It was a very very VERY hard decision, being as though most preemies are only born with 1/10 of a pint of blood to begin with and need constant tests on their blood to assure their progress. She was highly anemic. My daughter was started on Epogen very soon after birth and doctors were very cautious with the blood they drew. I also kept close check of her hemoglobin and hermadicrate(?) levels to understand just how anemic she was. My daughter graduated from the NICU when she was 8 weeks old without a transfusion. Today, she is very healthy at 2 1/2 months corrected and is closing in on 12 lbs! Because of the reactions of the other babies in the NICU who received transfusions, I am confident that I made the right decision in my case. I am not going to sit here and tell you horror stories because that is the last thing any NICU mommy needs to hear, but I do want to stress to you that a transfusion is a BIG DEAL, it is putting a foreign organic body into an already weak child. At least in a synthetic treatment you can be sure of every component involved. I am not telling you not to do it, because it is a huge personal decision that will affect EVERYTHING. But for your child's sake, please make sure you know every option before resorting to transfusion. That way, if your son does receive a transfusion, you would know that you tried every option available to help your son. God Bless and congratulations on your miracle!!

Report post

Hi I'm Elaine and new to this forum but I am the mummy of a 4 year old daughter who was born at 23 weeks and 4 days weighting 1 lb 4 oz (587 g). She had over a dozen transfusions and had no ill affects from them and her condition improved drastically after each one. I'm sure if Lucas needs the transfusion he will be absolutely fine so try not to worry.

Report post

My former 26 weeker, now 9 1/2months actual had numerous transfusions while in the NICU. Because he was extremely anemic, and because of constant blood draws,He had everything from plasma to type specific blood given to him. He had to have additional ones done because of his surgeries and a liver biopsy - he did just fine, with no adverse reactions. With out the blood products, there would have been no way for him to survive. This is obviously a personal decision, but you need to do what is in the best interest of your child. Talk to the Dr's and find out the pro's and con's of having vs not having and make an informed decision. I will say from a medical standpoint that they wouldnt consider giving a transfusion unless it was absolutely medically necessary.

Report post

My son, Nate, former 25 weeker, had so many transfusions in the NICU I can't remember the number. The 1st time was so scary, I was so afraid he's "get something" from the blood or it wouldn't "agree" with his little system but he did fine. I hated signing the papers, I was so scared but knew he needed it. Then everytime they did another, I was afraid he'd never produce enough iron on his own. The dr's and nurses kept saying he would but I had visions of him needing transfusions for the rest of his life. It may be silly but I worried over it all. Anyway, he did fine, eventually he didn't need anymore transfusions. Our ped checked Nate's iron at his 2 yr appt and it was great. God Bless. Hope this helps.

Report post

Elijah had 4 blood transfusions in his first 5 weeks of life after that he started to make his own. He is 5 months old now and still on iron to help.

Ashley

Report post

My son was born at 24 weeks and was in the hospital for 154 days. He had low blood count to do all of the tests that needed to be run, being premature, and having 6 surgeries. He had to have several blood transfusions, 19 to be exact. He never had a problem with any of them. I really wasn't that worried either because I have a medical background and I know how much the blood goes through before it is given to anyone. It is a very safe procedure, one that saves lives. At the NICU we were at they have never had any preemie have a problem with getting a transfusion. I hope all goes well for your little guy.

Lisa Q

Report post

Peyton was born at 26 weeks and had several sugeries, blood draws, etc, etc so he required quite a few transfusions during his 4 months in the NICU. He never had a problem with them. In fact, one day when he was about 2-1/2 monhts, he was having some pretty severe A's & B's, which he had very rarley had from the time he was born. They had to use the "blow by" at least twice to get his sat levels back up. They did a blood work up and found his crit was extremely low so they did a transfusion and a few hours later he was like a new baby! Pink, awake and alert. That wasn't his first transfusion. I don't think that the docs in your NICU would recommend a transfusion if your baby didn't really need it. I don't know what the procedures are for your NICU unit but for ours the procedures and requirements for blood given to the babies was so stringent that blood that was used for other patients in the hospital (which also had been thru some pretty rigorous screeningalready) was rejected by the NICU if it didn't meet their exact specifications. Our experiences with transfusions were overall good with no adverse effects or reactions.

Report post

my son was born at 30 weeks and had 3 transfusions.... i was very worried about it so i ahd 10 of the family members go to the hospital to donate blood...... unfortunatly in my case no one was a close enough match for my helpless lil guy...... he had heart surgery so they had to replace what was lost..... i have to admit though we were very lucky he came threw just fine...curntly at 2 yrs old he has shown no signs of any comlications or anything with his blood...he is on a daily vitamin and thats it...... from what the dr told me... they are ALOT more tight on the screening of newborns getiing transfusions than they are adults he said they check the blood a few times to ensure the most perfect match and clarity of the blood.... i hope this makes it a lil easier for you... granted it still wouldnt hurt for maybe a few family members to go down and donate and see if anyone is a match.....

Report post

My triplets were born at 32 weeks. We received a call one morning asking permission for a transfusion to be done, which my hubby agreed to THEN came and woke me up. We were told the reason she needed one was that her red cell count was low. I did question the nurses later and was told that the blood is tested well and that when a preemie/newborn is receiving it they take extra precautions. Made me feel A LITTLE better. She hasn't had any problems from it.

I will tell you though that I still feel bad when I think about it. I should have called back and asked more questions after I knew what was going on. I should have let my hubby call back and tell them to wait (like he offered to do). I really feel like I should have been there with her. I should have.....oh my gosh, there are so many of those :)

Report post

My daughter , a 29 weeker now 7 months old had a transfusion. She was extremely anemic and had a very gray look to her. After the transfusion she immediately looked much better and had a lot more energy. In turn this enabled her to take more feedings from a bottle instead of gavage. She was so weak that she couldn't eat by bottle without needing to be bagged. Her episodes decreased immediately and within 2 weeks after the transfusion she was home.

The blood is screened using the highest standards and Red Cross protocols. Also since she only needed a tablespoon any subsequent transfusions would be from the same blood.

None of the other children who were in the NICU during the same time and had transfusions had any reaction. If I had to do it again I would.

Report post

Rowen my 30 wkr had two transfusions. he had no bad reations to it and looked pinker and more active immediately. it wasn't as scary as it sounds. one persons blood helped three different babies in the nicu at one time.

Report post

Both my twins received blood transfussions in the NICU. One of them got quite a few and also other blood products such as platelets. None of them had any problems from it.

Report post

My son, John, was born at 30 4/7 weeks. He is now nearly 9 weeks old & doing well. He has had two surgeries & received packed red blood cells & platelets numerous times before & after each. He had no problems, & I noticed a visible difference in him almost immediately after he received the blood. He will have one more surgery (hopefully) within the next two weeks, & I anticipate he'll need additional blood products.

I know it's hard not to worry, but receiving blood is the thing about which I've worried the least during our time in the NICU. Good luck to your little guy.

Report post

My twins were born at 24 weeks, 6 days and I stopped counting after 25 blood transfusions. They were born 7 weeks ago, and are just now able to replenish red blood cells. It is hard at first to hear that your child needs it, but the blood banks are very safe and the babies look so nice and pink after they get new blood.

Report post

I am one of the eighty other women who have responded and I concur. my son really turned around after his transfusion. It helped give him the energy to suck/swallow/breathe. They waited 4 weeks to do despite being anemic b/c of his high platelets but eventually did it. I was really glad and we went home a week later. We had more blood pxs (anemia and high platelets later) but at around 8 months old he figured it out and now we are off iron and not getting blood tests twice a week anymore! Good luck!

Report post

Hi I am the mom of a 26 weekr. My daughter had 4 transfusions and inprovied greatly with each one. There was no side effects in her case. Good Luck!

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Preemie links and resources


Narratives from the NICU -- Read the special report

Community leaders