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Neonatal Blood Loss Risks

Fikac, Lisa, MSN, RNC-NIC

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000255
Original Articles

There are many common risks for blood loss in the newborn infant. Blood loss can occur prenatally, intrapartally, and during the neonatal period. This article looks at the most common risks to be aware of in the newborn infant. Babies are not just tiny versions of adults. They have differences in the maturity all body systems, and that includes circulating blood volume and factors that contribute to those differences. Circulating blood volume is about 80 to 100 mL/kg in the term infant and 90 to 105 mL/kg in the preterm infant. Red blood cells live for about a month and are replaced with immature red blood cells called reticulocytes that mature within 12 to 24 hours. Therefore, potential for blood loss and its impact are issues that must be part of our overall assessment of the infant's condition. Blood loss can occur during pregnancy, the intrapartal period, or the postnatal period. Let us look at the potential issues for each of these time frames.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cape Fear Valley Health, Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Correspondence: Lisa Fikac, MSN, RNC-NIC, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Cape Fear Valley Health, Fayetteville, NC 28304 (

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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