Exchange Transfusion of the Newborn Infant

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Abstract

The first successful exchange transfusions were performed by Robertson (99, 100) in 1921 and by Hart (57) in 1925 for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning and of erythroblastosis fetalis, respectively. However, exchange transfusion (ET) did not become widely used until Wallerstein (119) in 1946 and Diamond (40) in 1947 described its efficacy in the therapy of hemolytic disease of the newborn infant (HDN). The procedure is now applied as a routine treatment of HDN as well as for hyperbilirubinemia from other causes and has been effective in preventing kerbnicterus. ET has been employed also as a basic supportive measure in the therapy of various other diseases (12).