Alternate Names : Erythroblastosis Fetalis, Kernicterus, Hydrops Fetalis, Rh Isoimmunization
What are the treatments for the disease?
The main treatment for Rh incompatibility is the Rho immune globulin. It is
by injection to the mother at 28 weeks and at 72 hours after delivering a baby.
This injection may also be given after abortions or other terminated
This gamma globulin, also known as RhoGam, prevents the formation of antibodies
that may affect other pregnancies.
Other procedures that may be necessary for treatment include:
planned delivery, via cesarean section
or induced labor
phenobarbital given several weeks before delivery to lower the bilirubin
level in the blood of the newborn
exchange transfusion, which is a blood transfusion in which fresh group 0, RH negative blood is given to an unborn fetus in exchange for his or her blood
infusion of albumin, a protein, to decrease bilirubin levels
phototherapy, a procedure in which the newborn is placed under special lights, to help
decrease the level of bilirubin in the blood
Depending on the degree of Rh incompatibility, the child may need physical therapy and a ventilator, or artificial breathing machine, for breathing
What are the side effects of the treatments?
effects of medications include stomach upset, rash, and allergic reaction. Side effects of blood transfusions may include lethargy, muscle twitching,
bleeding, and reaction to the blood being transfused. Many of the therapies may
interfere with parent bonding. Encouraging parent bonding between treatments
and making adjustments so parents can partake in care of their baby when
possible will allow for more parent bonding.
What happens after treatment for the disease?
incompatibility is diagnosed and treated quickly, the infant may recover
quickly without further problems, or with exchange transfusion. Infants who
developed more severe Rh reactions and are untreated may suffer severe nerve or
brain damage, requiring life-long treatment with therapy to adjust to the
world physically, mentally, and medically.
How is the disease monitored?
The healthcare provider
should be contacted if an infant who has been exposed to Rh incompatability
develops a fever, yellowing of the skin, poor appetite, poor weight gain, or