The anemia that regularly occurs in premature infants during the first quarter year of life has been known and recognized as a clinical entity since Gundobin1 first reported his observations on this condition.
For the first days after birth the blood of the premature infant shows high values for hemoglobin content and number of erythrocytes, similar to the values found in the full term new-born infants. At this period fetal characteristics such as erythroblastosis and polychromia are present to a higher degree in the blood of the premature than of the full term infant.
Regularly during the first three months there is noted a marked drop in the hemoglobin and the red count, beginning from the fourth to the fifth week of life and reaching their lowest values between the eighth and the twelfth week. Thereafter, a gradual improvement in both the erythrocyte count and the hemoglobin content of
ABT AF, NAGEL BR. PROPHYLAXIS OF THE ANEMIA OF PREMATURE INFANTS: USE OF VARIOUS AGENTS IN ATTEMPT TO PREVENT DEVELOPMENT OF THE SO-CALLED PHYSIOLOGIC ANEMIA OF PREMATURE INFANTS: PRELIMINARY STUDY. JAMA. 1932;98(26):2270–2275. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730520012004
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