In this issue of AJDC, Anderson et al1 review previous studies and report additional information to support the collection and storage of placental blood as a source of autologous red blood cells (RBCs) for neonates who require transfusions. It is important to note that studies to date have focused primarily on developing techniques to obtain placental RBCs. No definitive clinical information exists to establish the feasibility, efficacy, and safety of placental RBCs in the actual treatment of neonates. Accordingly, the authors appropriately caution that further studies are mandatory before this technique is applied in clinical settings. To emphasize this point, I will summarize a few of the issues that must be addressed by future studies.
Efficacy and safety must be established before a medical intervention is applied in clinical practice, regardless of how appealing it might be. Because the safety of transfused blood is currently of paramount importance, it
Autologous Transfusions for Neonates Using Placental BloodA Cautionary Note. Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(1):21–22. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160130023013