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Titheradge H.,Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals Trust | Nolan K.,Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals Trust | Sivakumar S.,Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals Trust | Bandi S.,Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Hospitals Trust
Acta Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics | Year: 2011

We report a very rare case of methaemoglobinaemia associated with glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, complicating a respiratory illness in a preterm neonate. This neonate had consistently low saturation readings despite being ventilated at moderately high pressures in 100% oxygen. An arterial blood gas confirmed a high methaemoglobin level and a high pO2, inconsistent with the saturations. In addition, the bilirubin increased to exchange levels and was difficult to control with quadruple phototherapy. A double volume exchange transfusion was performed, which reduced both bilirubin and methaemoglobin. The pulse oximetry then started to correlate well with pO2. G6PD deficiency was confirmed. Conclusion: Paediatricians should remember that methaemoglobinaemia is a rare but important cause of persistently low saturations, and exchange transfusion is a reliable treatment for this condition. © 2011 The Author(s).

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