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Asian J Transfus Sci. 2011 Jan;5(1):3-7. doi: 10.4103/0973-6247.75963.

Hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn: Current trends and perspectives.

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1
Department of Transfusion Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector -32, Chandigarh, India.

Abstract

The spectrum of hemolytic disease of the newborn has changed over the last few decades. With the implementation of Rhesus D immunoprophylaxis, hemolytic disease due to ABO incompatibility and other alloantibodies has now emerged as major causes of this condition. Though in developing countries, anti D is still a common antibody in pregnant women, many Asian countries have identified alloantibodies other than anti D as a cause of moderate-severe hemolytic disease. The most concerned fact is that, some of these have been described in Rh D positive women. It appears that universal antenatal screening in all pregnant women needs to be initiated, since Rh D positive women are just as likely as D negative women to form alloantibodies. Many developed nations have national screening programs for pregnant women. This is necessary to ensure timely availability of antigen negative blood and reduce effects on the newborn. Although universal screening seems justified, the cost and infrastructure required would be immense. Developing countries and under resourced nations need to consider universal antenatal screening and frame guidelines accordingly.

KEYWORDS:

Newborn hemolytic disease; antenatal antibody screening; red cell alloimmunisation

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