Anemia of Prematurity
Anemia is a low level of red blood cells (RBCs). These cells are responsible for picking up oxygen in the lungs and delivering it to the rest of the body. Low levels of RBCs make it difficult for the body to get enough oxygen. If anemia is severe, it can lead to serious health problems.
Anemia of prematurity occurs in babies who are born earlier than expected.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Anemia of prematurity may be caused by one or more of the following conditions:
Loss of blood due to:
- Complications during labor and birth
- Removal of blood for testing—regular blood tests are needed to monitor premature babies’ health
Decreased production of RBCs due to:
- Nutrition problems
- Certain infections like rubella or parvovirus that affect the bone marrow where RBCs are made
Destruction of RBCs may occur with medical conditions such as:
- Incompatibility between mother’s and baby’s blood—Rh incompatibility
- Hereditary disorders
Last reviewedAugust 2014by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.