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Exchange Transfusion in Newborns

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

An exchange transfusion is a procedure to give your newborn baby donated blood. Your baby may need this procedure if he or she has jaundice or has a blood disorder such as Rh incompatibility or sickle cell anemia. Jaundice is caused by too much bilirubin in the blood. If your baby has jaundice, an exchange transfusion helps to remove bilirubin out of your baby's blood.


Seek care immediately if:

Call your baby's pediatrician if:

Feed your baby as directed:

Give your baby breast milk or formula. Follow instructions for how much and how often to feed him or her.

Look for jaundice:

Look at your baby's skin every day to see if his or her jaundice is fading. Jaundice is best seen in natural daylight or next to a window. To look for jaundice, remove your baby's clothes. Gently press your finger on your baby's skin. Remove your finger and look for a yellow color on the skin. Gently press in 1 or 2 other areas of your baby's skin. Good places to press are fat areas of the arm, the leg, and the cheek or forehead.

Follow up with your baby's pediatrician as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.