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RH Incompatibility

more about RH Incompatibility


Hydrops fetalis, Rh-induced hemolytic disease of the newborn



  • This is a severe form of hemolytic disease of newborn.
  • This condition occurs when there is a difference in the mother's and fetus's Rh blood type.
  • First-born infants are unaffected (unless the mother has had previous interrupted pregnancies that could have sensitized her system), as it takes time for the mother to develop antibodies against the fetal blood.

  • Anemia
  • Heart failure
  • Edema
  • Respiratory distress
  • Enlarged liver
  • Bruising or purplish bruise-like skin lesions
  • Death

  • Rh-negative mother makes antibodies against the red blood cells of fetus who is Rh-positive.
  • These anti-Rh positive antibodies move through the placenta to the fetus and destroy the fetus's circulating red blood cells.
  • Destroyed red blood cells release free hemoglobin into the infant's circulation.  Hemoglobin is converted into bilirubin.

  • High bilirubin level
  • Positive direct Coombs test
  • Evidence of hemolysis in the infant's blood
  • Elevated cord blood bilirubin

  • Increase fluids
  • Phototherapy
  • Intrauterine fetal transfusion, early induction of labor for Hydrops Fetalis
  • Transfusion of packed red blood cells
  • Exchange transfusion

  • High-pitched hearing loss
  • Mental retardation
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Speech difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Movement disorder
  • Death


  • You need to contact the doctor if your child has severe jaundice, if jaundice lasts longer than 1 or 2 weeks, or if other symptoms develop.

  • An injection of immunoglobulins, called RhoGAM, to Rh-negative mothers at a mid-term and a second injection within a few days of delivery usually prevents the development of antibodies against Rh-positive blood.




more about RH Incompatibility


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