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DEPRIVATION OF PLACENTAL BLOOD AS A CAUSE OF IRON DEFICIENCY IN INFANTS

EARLE E. WILSON, M.D.; WILLIAM F. WINDLE, PH.D.; HOWARD L. ALT, M.D., PH.D.
Am J Dis Child. 1941;62(2):320-327. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1941.02000140091007.
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When the umbilical cord is clamped immediately after birth, over 100 cc. of blood can usually be obtained from the placental end of the cord.1 This blood normally flows into the infant if clamping is delayed until the placenta begins to descend into the vagina.2 During the neonatal period the infant's total blood volume is about 10 per cent of the body weight,3 and the average weight at birth is about 3.2 Kg.; therefore it is possible that the blood contained in the placenta and its surface vessels is equivalent to a third of the blood volume of the newborn infant. We have shown previously that depriving the infant of the placental blood results in a significant decrease in the erythrocyte count and the hemoglobin content of the blood and an increase in the reticulocytes during the first week of life.2c Further observations have indicated that

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