Records of 381 neonates who underwent exchange transfusion (ET) due to ABO haemolytic disease at the Division of Neonatology of Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey, between January 1977 and December 2003 were reviewed. Records were kept for the type of blood used in ET, the number of ETs for each infant, adverse event attributable to ET and bilirubin levels before, and 4 and 8 h after each ET. Of 381 infants, 300 were transfused with whole blood, whereas 81 infants were transfused with 0 red cells suspended in A or B plasma. The reexchange rate was higher in the whole blood group, compared with the erythrocyte and plasma group. Use of erythrocyte and plasma provided 30% reduction in the number of ETs per patient. Eight hours after the first ET, mean bilirubin levels were 84% of the pre-exchange values in the whole blood group and 73% of the pre-exchange values in the erythrocyte and plasma group (P = 0.001). As the use of O group red cells re-suspended in AB plasma decreased the re-exchange risk compared with O group whole blood, we suggest the use of O red cells re-suspended in AB plasma for the ET in cases of ABO haemolytic disease.