Rh incompatibility, Negative blood group in females

Rh incompatibility is the major cause of infants mortality. It can be preventable if it is timely diagnosed. Rh negative blood is found only 15% of total population in the world. In this population some are women and some men.

If Rh negative blood in male then it is not a problematic condition. If this Rh negative blood is in female, then it is a matter of concern.

There is still a lack of awareness in our society even today people do not consider it necessary to teach girls due to this reason, girls do not get complete information about anything.  It’s mainly because of lack of awareness about this disease. Every girl must know her blood group  if she has negative blood group then she must be told about the complications she might encounter during pregnancy and delivery.

These all deaths are preventable provided timely interventions are done. Awareness campaign is also very important in ruler area because many women aren’t educated and they have no any idea about blood groups because of this reason many babies aborted in two or three month they don’t understand why this is happening.

I feel that Rh Incompatibility should be taught in schools. Every girl and boy should know that if there blood group is Rh negative then what should they expect after marriage and at the time of conceiving.

Let’s know about

Rh Incompatibility.

Rh incompatibility is a condition which develops when there is a difference in Rh blood type between that of the pregnant mother (Rh negative) and that of the fetus (Rh positive).

Rh Incompatibility  is a condition in which the mother’s blood group is negative and the baby blood group is positive. If father’s blood group is positive and the mother’s is negative, it is very likely that the baby’s blood group may be positive. If child and mother both blood group are negative there is no any risk in this type of pregnancy.

If the unborn child’s blood group is positive and the mother’s is negative, then it is a matter of concern. If this is your first child and you have never had an abortion or DNC,  so this child will have no any risk.

Now it comes that if you have ever had an abortion or miscarriage before this, then you have to be aware of Rh disease.

What is Rh disease or          Rh incompatibility?

Rh disease is a dangerous kind of anemia. Anemia is when a person doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of the body.

Rh incompatibility
Rh incompatibility

Rh disease (also called Rh incompatibility) happens when your blood is Rh-negative and your baby’s blood is Rh-positive. This means your blood and your baby’s blood are incompatible, so it’s not safe for them to mix together.

If they do mix, your body makes Rh antibodies that may go from your body through the placenta into your baby’s body, where they attack and destroy her red blood cells. When your baby’s positive blood is mixed with your negative blood, your body will start making antibodies against it. Because we all know that the defense mechanism of our body is to prepare an army against any external thing immediately and eliminates that extraneous thing.

Similarly, when a child’s positive blood mixes with the mother’s blood, the mother’s immune system prepares antibodies against it. The child has nutrition and oxygen through the umbilical cord from mother’s placenta ,then along with the mother’s blood, the antibodies made in it also start mixing in the baby’s blood and these antibodies break down the child’s  blood cells, which causes anemia in the child. If you have Rh antibodies, you’re called Rh sensitisation.

What is Rh Sensitisation?

Rh is an antigen. The full name for this antigen is Rhesus factor.

If a pregnant woman with Rh-negative blood is pregnant with a baby (fetus) with Rh-positive blood, Rh sensitisation may occur. The baby may have Rh-positive blood if the father has Rh-positive blood. Rh sensitisation happens when the baby’s blood mixes with the mother’s blood during pregnancy or delivery.

This causes the mother’s immune system to make antibodies against the baby’s red blood cells in future pregnancies. This antibody response is called Rh sensitisation and, depending on when it happens, can destroy the red blood cells of the baby before or after it is born.

If sensitisation happens, a fetus can develop mild to severe problems (called Rh disease or erythroblastosis fetalis). In rare cases, if Rh disease is not treated, the fetus may die.

Indirect Coombs test (ICT)?

An indirect Coombs test can be used to determine whether there are antibodies to the Rh factor in the mother’s blood. 

A normal or negative result means that the mother has not developed antibodies against the fetus’s blood. A negative Coombs test indicates that the fetus is not presently in danger from problems relating to Rh incompatibility.

An abnormal or positive result means that the mother has developed antibodies to the fetal red blood cells and is sensitized. However, a positive Coombs test only indicates that an Rh-positive fetus has a possibility of being harmed. A positive test cannot indicate the amount of fetal harm.

is Rh Incompatibility be preventable?

Yes every girls should know their blood group so that she knows about every problem that comes and she can prepare herself for it. When she become a mother for the first time, tell her doctor in advance about her blood group, due to lack of awareness many unborn child may die so awareness of Rh negative blood group is very importance in both male,  female.

Treatment during pregnancy can protect your baby and future pregnancies.

If you’re Rh-negative and your baby is Rh positive, she may be at risk for Rh disease. It can cause serious problems for your baby, including death.

Firstborn babies usually aren’t affected by Rh disease. But if it’s not treated, Rh disease can cause serious harm in later pregnancies. when you conceive your second pregnancy after abortion or miscarriage timely visit your doctor and confirm it your blood has any antibody against Rh positive blood group in previous pregnancy.

In this condition your gynecologist suggest you Anti D injection after conceive your pregnancy this injection help to neutralize the antibodies.

You can find out if you’re Rh-negative with a blood test.

If both you and your baby’s father are Rh-positive: Your baby’s blood is Rh positive, and there’s no risk of Rh disease in your baby.

If both you and your baby’s father are Rh-negative: Your baby’s blood is Rh negative, and there’s no risk of Rh disease for your baby.

If you’re Rh negative and your baby’s father is Rh-positive: Your baby’s blood may be Rh-positive. Your baby is at risk for Rh disease and needs to be checked closely.

Effect of Rh Disease in babies.

If Rh incompatibility  is not treated on time, it can lead to the death of child.

Rh incompatibility causes a large number of red blood cells in the fetus to be destroyed. This is also know as HEMOLYTIC DISEASE OF NEWBORN. This may leads to problems including total body swelling. If the hemolytic anemia is severe, the baby may get a blood transfusion through the umbilical cord. In this condition treatment should be done from the fetal medicine department only.

one of the best Fetal medicine department in SGPGI Lucknow Uttar Pradesh. DR. Mandakni Pradhan is the head of fetal medicine department.

The department has performed more than 300 intrauterine blood transfusion and the smallest fetus to received blood transfusion at 18 weeks with Hb of 0.9 gm/dl. This is one of the earliest intrauterine transfusion reported in world literature. So if you live in nearest of Lucknow and you have Rh negative blood group so consult to Dr. Mandakni Pradhan.

Rh incompatibility
Intrauterine blood transfusion

Mother immune system attacks unborn baby’s red blood cell. This causes sever anemia, and large amount of fluid build up in the baby’s tissue and organs and developed Edema (sever Swelling) in an unborn baby this condition called HYDROPS FITALIS.

Rh Negative
Hydrops Fitalis

Rh incompatibility

Jaundice can make your baby’s eyes and skin look yellow. A baby has jaundice when his liver isn’t fully developed or isn’t working. If jaundice is severe and isn’t treated, a baby can develop a kind of brain damage called KERNICTERUS.

Treatment of Rh Incompatibility

If you haven’t developed Rh antibodies, your doctor can give you a shot of Rh immunoglobulin called Rh anti (D) immune globulin (brand name RhoGAM).

Rh anti D can prevent your body from producing Rh antibodies so your baby and future pregnancies won’t get Rh disease.

Anti D doesn’t work if your body has already started making Rh antibodies in a previous pregnancy. This is why it’s really important to get prenatal care as early as possible in every pregnancy.

If you’re RH-negative, you get RhoGAM:

At about 28 weeks of pregnancy

Within 72 hours after the birth if your baby is Rh-positive or if baby’s Rh is unknown.

Rh disease can be prevented in your baby if you get treatment at the right time.  

You may also receive Rh immunoglobulin if the risk of blood transfer between you and the baby is high for example, if you have has a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or bleeding during pregnancy.

Try that the delivery of a woman with a negative blood group should be done in such an institution where the doctor has complete information about it and the child can get a good treatment immediately

Delivery done only in such an institution where is NICU facility is available because there is a lot of chances in the negative blood group that premature delivery can happen and immediate need to shift the baby in NICU.

At the time of delivery, the doctor should take a blood sample from the cord of the child.So that he can know the blood group and hemoglobin of the child.

If the child has low hemoglobin, then blood exchange and blood transfusion may also have to be done in it.

Phototherapy and IVIG (intravenous Immunoglobulin) therapy is the supportive treatment most widely use in  Rh disease.

Phototherapy in new born

So every girl should know about her blood group who are dying before delivery because Rh incompatibility. Whenever a woman of negative blood group conceives, then her indirect coombs test must be done.

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