This paper reports the occurrence of acute hemolytic anemia in the neonatal period secondary to naphthalene poisoning. The route of absorption of the toxic material from clothing and diapers makes this report of exceptional interest to pediatricians and general practitioners dealing with infants.
The diagnosis of acute hemolytic anemia in the neonatal period is primarily the differentiation of intrinsic from extrinsic etiologic factors. Most frequently encountered are the intrinsic factors. These include hemolytic disease of the newborn due to Rh and ABO incompatibilities, congenital syphilis, thalassemia, and the other rare hemoglobinopathies.
The group of hemolytic anemias caused by extrinsic factors is expanding rapidly. Recently Wintrobe listed acute hemolytic anemia following vaccination, gas poisoning, and cranberry ingestion with 52 previously identified causes.1 Very recently, Cunningham reported several cases of acute hemolytic anemia in newborn infants secondary to absorption of resorcinol in skin lotions.2
Scattered throughout the literature are many