Editorial: Vox Sang.
The requirements of children undergoing transfusion should be considered as a distinct entity from those of adults. Neonates are particularly vulnerable and there have been concerns over infective or toxic risks to this group. Neonates may also have more acute side-effects as a result of their small blood volume. Most children who are transfused will have a good life expectancy, so long-term side-effects will be more significant than for adults. In Britain, there are a number of transfusion components with neonatal specifications, but there appears to be some confusion, among both medical and laboratory staff, as to the appropriate use of these. Although there are many paediatric guidelines on the use of blood, there is a lack of evidence underlying these. However, there are trends to decreased blood usage in neonates and ongoing studies to investigate the appropriate use of blood for children.