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Indian Pediatr. 1995 Nov;32(11):1167-71.

Symptomatic neonatal polycythemia: comparison of partial exchange transfusion with saline versus plasma.

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Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi.


A prospective study to evaluate efficacy and safety of partial exchange blood transfusion (PEBT) with normal saline or plasma was conducted in 30 symptomatic polycythemic newborns. Babies were randomly assigned to receive PEBT either with normal saline or plasma. Both groups were comparable in terms of birth weight, gestational age, preexchange hematocrit and viscosity. A significant fall in hematocrit and viscosity was noticed at 6 hours following PEBT which persisted even at 24 hours (P < 0.001). Hematocrit and viscosity were comparable in the two groups at 6 and 24 hours (p > 0.05 for both). Majority of babies became asymptomatic after 24 hours of PEBT, but one baby in the saline group remained polycythemic and symptomatic requiring repeat PEBT. No complications related to the procedure were encountered in the two groups. Partial exchange with normal saline was as effective and safe as plasma in symptomatic polycythemic newborns.

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