ANAEMIA OF PREMATURITY

This refers to anaemia occurring after the first week and often much later. It is due to a number of factors which include:

  • Deficiency of haematinics.
  • Blood loss associated with repeated investigation.
  • Intracranial haemorrhage.
  • Erythropoietin deficiency.

Feeding chart for preterm and low birth weight babies: Amount of milk to give every 3 hours (ml)

Birth weight Age in days
(KG) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 or more
1.0–1.4 8 10 15 20 25 30 30 35
1.5–1.9 10 15 20 25 30 40 45 50
2.0–2.4 15 20 30 35 40 50 55 65
2.5–2.9 20 25 35 40 50 60 70 75
3.0–3.4 20 30 40 50 60 70 70 75
3.5–3.9 25 35 45 60 70 80 80 80

Note: Introduce feeds as soon as possible; preferably no later than 24 hrs after birth. Monitor weight at least 3 times a week. Weight gain after the first week is 15g/ kg/day.

Management

  • Treat with iron and folic acid.
  • Transfuse if:
    • Symptomatic: Poor weight gain, recurrent apnoea, congestive cardiac failure, or
    • Hb < 8g

Prevention

Limit blood loss; give prophylactic iron starting from 4 to 6 weeks of age.