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J Pediatr. 2000 Feb;136(2):215-9.

Feasibility and safety of AS-3 red blood cells for neonatal transfusions.

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  • 1Departments of Pediatrics, Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, and Pathology, The University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242-1182, USA.



Most extremely low birth weight (<1 kg) infants receive red blood cell (RBC) transfusions. RBCs stored up to 42 days can be transfused safely in small volumes to preterm infants; however, because the formulation of RBC anticoagulant/preservative solutions differs, clinical studies are required to document the safety of each solution before widespread use. Our goal was to study the feasibility and safety of AS-3 anticoagulant/preservative solution to preterm infants.


Two clinical studies were conducted in sequence: (1) a randomized trial to compare RBC transfusions given as stored (< or =42 days) AS-3 RBCs (11 infants) versus fresh (< or = 7 days) citrate, phosphate, dextrose, and adenine RBCs (10 infants) and (2) a subsequent evaluation of the safety of stored AS-3 RBCs in 33 additional preterm infants given 120 AS-3 RBC transfusions.


Results of both the randomized study and the subsequent evaluation documented that AS-3 RBCs stored < or =42 days and transfused in small volumes (15 mL/kg) were safe for RBC transfusions of preterm infants. Donor exposure was significantly reduced, clinical transfusion reactions were rare, and post-transfusion blood hematocrit, pH, and plasma Na, K, Ca, lactate, and glucose measurements were similar when AS-3 and citrate, phosphate, dextrose, and adenine RBC transfusions were compared.


AS-3 RBCs can be used safely for small-volume RBC transfusions for preterm infants.

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