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Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: iron deficency in 12 month old


 all_about_samanne - Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:46 pm

My 12 month old has been testing low on his iron tests. This surprised me because his formula is iron fortified, as are all his snack foods (we only get the ones that say they are a good source of iron and zinc). 6 weeks ago he was prescribed drops (brown sludge that really stinks and tastes terrible). I was very lax in giving him the drops for the first 3 weeks. Upon his return to the dr, he tested at a 9.0 the first time and a 10.2 the second. we admitted to not being adament about giving him his drops. We were told to give him the drops and return after our vacation. I was dutiful about giving him the drops daily and upon our return we went in. this time his iron counts were 8.0 and 9.2. We were sent to the local hospital to have more extensive labwork done (3 different blood tests). I am very concerned, what could be causing this? Best and worst case scenarios. We don't return to the doctor until thursday for the results. Given that his iron intake has increased drastically and his iron counts have decreased I am thinking I have reason to worry. He has been more and more fussy over the last few weeks but has always been where he should be developmentally. What is going on? :(
 NICU_RN - Sat Jul 16, 2005 4:37 am

I can base my advice on my experience with the neonates I work with on a daily basis in the NICU.
Babies, and small children have less blood than adults.
The red blood cells in adult last > 100 days in our bodies before our spleen(the graveyard of dead red blood cells) takes them to get rid of them.
In children, red blood cells die faster.
When your child had his "HCT" or hematocrit checked, they must have also tested for a "retic" count. A normal or slightly higher retic count indicates that your child is in fact trying to make Red Blood cells. That yucky, smelly iron supplement your baby takes is called "Ferinsol", just a fancy name for an iron supplement. I give it to our babies in the NICU ALL THE TIME. And YES, it is "nasty" smelling and tasting. If your doctor felt that your baby's HCT and Retic count was critical, he/she would have opted for a transfusion.
The irritability your baby has could be related to so many factors, and not just his low iron. Please rest assured, that if your doctor was very concerned about these numbers, he/she would have advised a transfusion and you do not indicate this in your post.
Your doctor, based on your child's weight may increase her dose. Change to a different brand. He/She may also encourage you to feed your baby for green/leafy vegetables, lean meats, eggs, oatmeal, other high iron cereals and/or other foods high in iron. You should definitely try to be more consistent in giving your baby his iron supplement.
God Bless
NICU_RN

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