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Anemia is a shortage of red blood cells. Since red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, anemia can deprive the body of needed oxygen. Low oxygen levels (oxygenation) in a premature infant can lead to medical complications or make complications worse.
Common causes of anemia in premature infants include:
Mild anemia may not require treatment. More severe anemia is treated with blood transfusions or with a medicine (erythropoietin) that improves the body's ability to produce red blood cells.
Last Revised: March 30, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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