Anemia In Infants

Anemia is a disease characterized by too few red blood cells (erythrocytes) in the blood.

Anemia in the newborn may result from:
  • Blood loss
  • Destruction of red blood cells are excessively
  • Impaired red blood cell formation.

The loss of large amounts of blood during the birth process can occur if the placenta is detached from the uterine wall prematurely (placental abruption) or if there is a tear in the umbilical cord.
Infants looked very pale, low blood pressure and shortness of breath.

Anemia in premature infants is usually caused by blood loss (due to repeated blood tests for laboratory tests) and a reduced red blood cell formation.
Under normal circumstances, the bone marrow did not form new red blood cells for 3-4 weeks after birth. Anemia will worsen as the baby's growth rate is faster than the rate of formation of new red blood cells. But premature babies usually do not show symptoms of anemia and this situation will disappear by itself within 1-2 months.

Destruction of red blood cells occurs in:
  • Hemolytic disease in newborns: a large number of red blood cells are destroyed by antibodies produced by the mother during the fetus in the womb
  • Babies with deformities of the red blood cells, such as spherocytosis (spherical red blood cells)
  • Abnormalities of hemoglobin (oxygen carrying protein in red blood cells), such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Infection for the baby in the womb (eg toxoplasmosis, German measles, cytomegalovirus disease, herpes simplex or syphilis).
If blood cells are destroyed, hemoglobin is converted to bilirubin. High levels of bilirubin in the blood (hyperbilirubinemia) causes jaundice and in severe cases, can cause brain damage (kern icterus).

Anemia due to iron deficiency can occur in infants aged 3-6 months if given cow's milk or infant formula is not fortified with iron.

  • If blood loss occurs during the birth process, immediately given a blood transfusion.
  • If the cause is the destruction of red blood cells is excessive, replace transfusion, where the baby's blood is replaced with fresh blood. Red blood cells are damaged, bilirubin and antibodies from the mother's body dumped.
  • In iron deficiency anemia are given extra iron.
  • If symptoms of severe anemia, a blood transfusion.
Tags : Anemia infants, anemia in babies, anemia in children, anemia babies treatment

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