Perforation of the intestine as a complication of umbilical vein exchange transfusion in the newborn has recently received increased attention in the literature, but from 1950 until 1968 there have been only six recorded cases.1 Since 1968, 15 cases of gut perforation and peritonitis in the newborn following exchange transfusion have been reported in the British and Canadian literature.2-5 The etiology has been considered to be a vascular accident occurring as a result of the exchange transfusion. We wish to report two further cases of bowel perforation, one of the small and the other of large bowel following exchange transfusion for hyperbilirubinemia. They are reported in order to highlight the importance of this complication of exchange transfusion since early recognition and surgical intervention are required.
Report of Cases
Case 1.—Baby 1 was delivered by cesarean section at 34 weeks' gestation to a 37-year-old para 1 gravida 5 Rhnegative
Hilgartner MW, Lanzkowsky P, Lipsitz P. Perforation of Small and Large Intestine Following Exchange Transfusion. Am J Dis Child. 1970;120(1):79–81. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100060113021