Erythroblastosis Fetalis

The erythroblastosis fetalis is an immune system disease in the pregnant women, which forces the white blood cells of the mother to attacks the red blood cells of the baby.

Every woman when she conceives should go through all the tests that are necessarily by the doctor in order to avoid any complication in coming nine months.

We shall talk about a phenomenon of Erythroblastosis Fetalis, which though very rare in developing countries, but can’t be ignore out completely.

Diagnose of Erythroblastosis Fetalis

The Erythroblastosis fetalis can be diagnose via blood test and if tests are done at the beginning, catching the complication at an early stage help to avoid life threatening situations later.

This disorder can become life threatening for the baby if not treated in time.

Erythroblastosis diagnosis is used for understanding the extent of seriousness of the disease.

Wherein high level indicates that the condition can become a potential threat, if allowed to remain unattended.

Diagnosing this condition calls for mother’s blood test when or even before she conceives to see if she has O blood type and especially if it is RH negative.

Although the father’s blood factor is RH negative or unknown under this situation precautions like doing a course to stop antibodies from growing.

It’s done in advance to save mother as well as the child and take both towards safe delivery.

What is Erythroblastosis Fetalis?

Erythroblastosis Fetalis is a highly critical blood related disease that occurs in a fetus or in an infant.

Also known by names like Rh Disease, & Haemolytic Disease of the Newborn.

It is a phenomenon association with second pregnancy or onward;

Rh Disease attacks when mother’s blood does not match with the blood of her baby in the womb.

That gives rise to a condition where mother’s immune system starts working against the blood of her own fetus by producing antigens.

As a result baby’s red blood cell development gets hamper.

Immediate Treatments for Erythroblastosis Fetalis

This medical condition is a result of an RH negative mother and RH+ father are carrying a baby with an RH positive blood factor.

Baby’s and mother’s blood don’t get mix generally as placenta keeps them separate.

But sometimes a few days ahead of the due date, if trans-placental leakage occurs, then under such a condition mother’s negative blood comes in contact with her newborn’s RH positive blood.

In some cases, mother is induce with injection by the needles that may be with Rh-positive blood and an unintentional transfusion of Rh-positive blood.

Sometimes baby’s blood also gets mix with mother’s at the time of birth.

Anytime this occurs, baby’s mother (if it is her second or subsequent pregnancy) begins to create antibodies that start working against the baby in the womb, by way of finding its way into the baby’s bloodstream.

Moreover, eventuality also results in clumping of blood.

When this happens it calls for an immediate blood transfusion for the baby on coming out of the womb.

If this procedure is not performed in time chances of baby’s survival become remote.

Somehow if the baby manages his way into the world, s/he is likely to be…
  • A pale and brain damaged baby  with demonstrating poor reflexes
  • Poor movement
  • Low blood pressure and sugar levels
  • There may be fluid accumulation in the body
  • She/he may experience difficulty in breathing etc.

This situation used to be very rare but in recent times more cases of mother suffering Erythroblastosis Fetalis are coming to notice.

Reason for Erythroblastosis Fetalis

Let us understand the reasons behind its occurrence.

Two main reasons are:

  1. Rh incompatibility
  2. ABO incompatibility

We have already discussed the first reason above.

Coming to ABO incompatibility, it is the less dangerous complication which can at the most result in an anemic baby.

Anemic baby when born or baby born with jaundice.

Other than that baby is okay and normal.

ABO compatibility explained:

Besides RH factor the other common thing about blood is its types, the main being A, B, AB and O.

While no antigens are found in blood type O; other three do have them.

If the mother’s blood type is O, and the fetus blood type is either A or B that the baby could have inherited from father.

However, it is likely that, under this situation mother’s body starts making antibodies that can cause harm to baby’s blood.

Precautionary Measuring of Erythroblastosis Fetalis

As precautionary measure, mothers may also require to go for plasma exchange.

That minimizes the circulating levels of antibody to a great extent.

Baby also may go for blood transfusion post birth.

Before birth, Erythroblastosis Fetalis risk can be minimize with the help of a treatment such as anti-Rh gamma globulin treatment during the 28th week of pregnancy.

Failing this, an injection of human immune globulin should be inject to the mother within 72 hours of delivering her first baby.

If baby is growing well, or by the time mother reaches 35th week of pregnancy doctor may also suggest early induction of giving birth.

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