Anemia is a blood disorder characterized by abnormally low levels of healthy red blood cells (RBCs) or reduced hemoglobin (Hgb), the iron-bearing protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to tissues throughout the body.
RBCs contain Hgb, a protein pigment that allows the cells to carry oxygen (oxygenate) tissues throughout the body.
As RBCs break down, they release Hgb into the blood stream, which is normally filtered out by the kidneys and excreted.
The normal newborn Hgb is 16.8 dL, which may be 1 to 2 dL lower if birth weight is abnormally low.
Treatment of newborn anemia depends on the severity of symptoms, the level of Hgb, and the presence of any other diseases that may affect oxygen delivery, such as lung or heart disease or hyaline membrane disease.