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Fetal Hemolytic Disease

by Veronica Gillispie, MD, FACOG
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    Today we're going to talk about fetal hemolytic disease. So what happens in fetal hemolytic disease. Well, this is something that only effects Rh negative moms. So if mom is Rh negative and we have a baby that is Rh positive, the antigens on the baby's blood can cause an immune response in the mom's blood that creates antibodies. Now this isn't an issue for first pregnancy. It's the subsequent pregnancies that may have a problem. So again we have an Rh negative mom who has now been sensitized and has antibodies against the Rh positive antigens. So if she has a baby that is Rh positive, expressing those antigens, those antibodies will go and attack that baby. Now what is the result, hydrops fetalis, hypoxia or even death of that baby or that infant. So how we prevent hemolytic disease of the new born. Well, use a medication call "Anti-D" or sometimes known as RhoGAM. We give this medication at 28 weeks of gestation. Also we give it if there's bleeding at any point during the pregnancy and after birth if the baby is Rh positive. So how does the medicine work. Well, again we administer this medication and it binds the Rh negative antigens in the mother circulation to avoid sensitization with those Rh positive antigens in the baby's blood. And so therefore it prevents the process of those antibodies that will go and attack an Rh positive pregnancy. So let's discuss a question. Let's go through a case. A 19 year old female with an incomplete abortion presents to the emergency room. On physical exam, vital signs are stable. On pelvic exam, products of conception are seen at the cervical os. Her initial laboratory evaluations shows a hemoglobin of 13. Her blood type is 0 negative. In...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Fetal Hemolytic Disease by Veronica Gillispie, MD, FACOG is from the course Antenatal Care.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Hydrops fetalis in subsequent pregnancies with an Rh + fetus
    2. Fetal death of first pregnancy with an Rh + fetus
    3. Maternal hypoxia
    4. Maternal anemia
    5. Anti-D immunobody formation
    1. ...after birth if the fetus is confirmed Rh negative.
    2. ...miscarriage in the first trimester.
    3. ...second trimester bleeding without fetal loss.
    4. ...at 28 weeks of pregnancy .
    5. ...first trimester vaginal bleeding.

    Author of lecture Fetal Hemolytic Disease

     Veronica Gillispie, MD, FACOG

    Veronica Gillispie, MD, FACOG


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