Erythroblastosis fetalis is a severe medical condition that most commonly results from incompatibility between certain blood types of a woman who is pregnant and the fetus. The condition involves a component of blood called Rh factor. Rh factor is an inherited protein, found on the surface of red blood cells. Not everyone has this protein.
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The types are based on substances on the surface of the blood cells. Another blood type is called Rh. Rh factor is a protein on red blood cells. Most people are Rh-positive; they have Rh factor. Rh-negative people don't have it. Rh factor is inherited through genes. When you're pregnant , blood from your baby can cross into your bloodstream, especially during delivery.
If you're Rh-negative and your baby is Rh-positive, your body will react to the baby's blood as a foreign substance.
It will create antibodies proteins against the baby's blood. These antibodies usually don't cause problems during a first pregnancy. But Rh incompatibility may cause problems in later pregnancies, if the baby is Rh-positive. This is because the antibodies stay in your body once they have formed.
The antibodies can cross the placenta and attack the baby's red blood cells. The baby could get Rh disease, a serious condition that can cause a serious type of anemia. Blood tests can tell whether you have Rh factor and whether your body has made antibodies. Injections of a medicine called Rh immune globulin can keep your body from making Rh antibodies.
It helps prevent the problems of Rh incompatibility. If treatment is needed for the baby, it can include supplements to help the body to make red blood cells and blood transfusions.
Rh Incompatibility. On this page Basics Summary Learn More. Learn More No links available. See, Play and Learn No links available. Research Clinical Trials Journal Articles. Resources No links available. For You No links available. Learn More. Clinical Trials. Article: A clinical prediction rule for acute bilirubin encephalopathy in neonates with Article: Noninvasive prenatal detection of hemoglobin Bart hydrops fetalis via maternal plasma Rh Incompatibility -- see more articles.
NCBI Bookshelf. George N. Nassar ; Cristin Wehbe. Authors George N. Nassar 1 ; Cristin Wehbe 2. The formation of maternal antibodies in response to a fetal antigen is called isoimmunization. These antibodies form when fetal erythrocytes that express certain RBC antigens that are not expressed in the mother cross the placenta and gain access to maternal blood.
Erythroblastosis fetalis is hemolytic anemia in the fetus or neonate, as erythroblastosis neonatorum caused by transplacental transmission of maternal antibodies to fetal red blood cells. The disorder usually results from incompatibility between maternal and fetal blood groups, often Rho D antigens. Diagnosis begins with prenatal maternal antigenic and antibody screening and may require paternal screening, serial measurement of maternal antibody titers, and fetal testing. Treatment may involve intrauterine fetal transfusion or neonatal exchange transfusion. Prevention is Rho D immune globulin injection for women who are Rh-negative. Erythroblastosis fetalis classically results from Rho D incompatibility, which may develop when a woman with Rh-negative blood is impregnated by a man with Rh-positive blood and conceives a fetus with Rh-positive blood, sometimes resulting in hemolysis.