Blood conservation in infants and children has benefits even beyond those seen with the adult populations. For instance, acquired blood borne diseases such as cytomegalovirus not only cause illness but also can have deleterious effects on the growth and development of infants and children. Decreasing blood transfusions is especially important in preventing sensitization over a lifetime, which may require further transfusion and even organ transplantation. A less striking benefit, but one equally as significant, is decreasing the occurrence of graft-versus-host disease when blood conservation negates the need for multiple transfusions. The limitation of alternative transfussion practices in children and infants increases the benefits of blond conservation. Autologous blood donation may be an alternative to allogeneic transfusion in older children, but is not possible with neonates who may be born anemic and who experience a normal physiologic anemia during the first 2 months of life. Critical care nurses are instrumental in helping blood conservation by understanding blood salvaging techniques, including correct collection techniques, noninvasive monitoring, evaluation of diagnostic sample needs, and administration of erythrocyte-stimulating factors

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