Because red blood cell (RBC) transfusion therapy remains the primary treatment of anemia encountered in early life, the basis for RBC transfusion in the treatment of symptomatic anemia is discussed in this review along with several important aspects of neonatal blood banking practices. Nontransfusion approaches to the prevention and treatment of neonatal anemia also are described. Finally, this review covers the controversy surrounding whether neonatal RBC transfusion therapy should be restrictive or liberal. The evaluation and treatment of uncommon and rare acquired and genetic causes of anemia in newborn infants are beyond the scope of this review.
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