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Children with leukaemia are prone to severe anaemia dueto the disease itself and the medication; they usuallyreceive multiple blood transfusions throughouttheir treatment when they develop severe anaemia as a side effect of the disease and chemotherapy received. This is an observational cross-sectional study of 50 children who werediagnosed with leukaemia and treated at NBK paediatrichaematology and oncology department, Sabah hospital.The aim of this study was to see whether intensechemotherapy affects the amount of blood transfusionsreceived, hence leading to iron overload. Serum ferritinlevel was tested in each patient who were atdifferent stages of treatment (after parents' consent). Forty-four childrenwere receiving their chemotherapy at the time ofsampling and were at different stages of theirtreatment, whereas six children have already completedtheir chemotherapy in accordance to theirchemotherapy treatment protocol. Serum ferritin level was observed to be increasing as the patient progress in treatment. The risk of the disease and multiple blood transfusions might lead to increased level of serumferritin level (multiple correlation coefficient 0.664, coefficient of determination =38%) however they were not only the only determinant of the iron overload. Most children have received multiple blood transfusions by the end of chemotherapy treatment protocol(p=0.001). Iron overload has an accumulative effect that can still be clearly seen towards the end of chemotherapy protocol.
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