Background Neonatal Red cell transfusion volume is traditionally calculated based on weight 10–20 ml/kg. The main objective was to explore whether desired Hb level was achieved post transfusion and if other variables such as weight, pre-transfusion Hb value, and RCC volume affect transfusion outcome.
Methods This retrospective quantitative descriptive study included all neonates admitted to NICU requiring their first blood transfusion in a single tertiary referral centre. Hb levels pre and post transfusion as well as volume transfused were evaluated.
Results Over one year, 108 neonates received a blood transfusion. Complete data set in terms of pre and post transfusion Hb values, weight, and volume transfused was only available for 78 neonate. The mean Hb pre-transfusion was 10.3 ± 2.5 g/dl with 29.6 ± 19.1 ml transfused volume and the mean Hb post-transfusion of 13.6 ± 2.1 g/dl. Only 5 (6%) of infants did not reach the desired Hb level post-transfusion and 4 of these infants were mechanically ventilated. There was a poor correlation between infant weight and post transfusion Hb (R = 0.028, p = 0.81). However, pre-transfusion Hb positively correlated with post-transfusion Hb (R = 0.509; p < 0.001) (Figure 1).
Conclusion Incorporation of the pre-transfusion Hb value in the calculation of RBC transfusion volume may achieve the desired Hb threshold and hence reduce the need for further transfusion.