Anemia is a deficiency of the red blood cells required by the body to carry hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is necessary because it carries oxygen through the blood into all parts of the body keeping it alive. Hemoglobin levels should be higher than 15 grams or it is considered too low.
Low levels of red blood cells are quite common among premature babies, and many times preemies require a transfusion of red blood cells, especially premature babies under 1,000 grams. There are a many reasons why a premature baby may develop anemia. First of all, during the first few weeks of life premature babies’ bodies do not make many new red blood cells, and the red blood cells their bodies do have do not last as long as older children.
Blood loss is another reason that a premature baby can become anemic. Premature babies can have bleeding problems that can increase their risk of developing anemia, and one serious problem is Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH). A premature baby can also develop anemia if her blood is drawn too frequently.
Studies are being done on iron supplements for premature babies, and how they will be administered if they are found to be effective. Right now transfusions are the best and safest way to increase the iron in your premature baby's blood. Symptoms of anemia (low iron in the blood) are pale skin, lethargy, poor feeding, tackypnea, and tackycardia.
Sjona Lindquist is a mom of 6 (1 angel) and she owns and operates BabyLinq.com Preemie Store. BabyLinq.com Preemie Store is a resource site and specialty shop for parents of premature babies. Lindquist's daughter was stillborn from a Strep B infection due to PROM (Premature Rupture of Membranes). In honor of her daughter, Michaela, she offers preemie support, bereavement support, and preemie clothes. Some of the products include micro preemie clothes , preemie bereavement gowns, and Preemie dresses . If a new preemie has entered your life or someone you love, drop by and visit us! BabyLinq.com Preemie Store