Iron-dextran was given intramuscularly to 84 small prematurely born babies during their stay in the nursery; 97 similar babies were not so treated and served as controls.
By 8 to 10 weeks of age, values for hemoglobin in the babies who received iron-dextran were significantly higher than in the controls and remained high throughout the first year. Virtually all of the control babies became anemic and hemoglobin levels below 5 gm/100 ml were observed in four infants.
There was no difference in the rate of growth or in the incidence of common infections in the two groups.
It is concluded that intramuscular injections of iron given prophylactically in the nursery will effectively prevent iron-deficiency anemia in premature infants and that this practice has definite clinical applicability. (See Addendum.)
Prevention of iron deficiency anemia does not reduce the high incidence of common infections experienced by prematurely born infants.
- Copyright © 1960 by the American Academy of Pediatrics