Red blood cell transfusions for premature neonates are a lifesaving therapy for a multitude of conditions, including severe anemia or hemorrhaging. If a baby is born prematurely at 24 to 25 weeks, the child will most likely need 10 to 12 red blood transfusions during their NICU stay. While necessary, this procedure increases risk for infections, transfusion reactions, toxic metal exposure, graft-versus-host disease (GVH) and mortality.

Transfusions are not avoidable, but you can reduce the number of them performed on premature babies, thus reducing the chance for mortality. Sripriya Sundararajan, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine presents current research and best practices on benefits of delayed umbilical cord clamping to reduce the number of red blood cell transfusions.

In this video she discusses strategies including delayed umbilical cord clamping, umbilical cord milking, and many other best practices that benefit premature babies that are executed at the Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at University of Maryland Children's Hospital.

Learn more about University of Maryland Children's Hospital neonatology program. Call 1-888-540-6767 to arrange neonatal transport.

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