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Can Med Assoc J. 1978 Mar 18;118(6):627-30.

Antenatal prophylaxis of Rh isoimmunization: 28-weeks'-gestation service program.


Two (0.18%) of 1086 Rh-negative primigravidas or multigravidas treated similarly in all previous pregnancies, who were given a single injection of Rh immune globulin (300 mug) at 28 weeks' gestation and subsequently were delivered of Rh-positive babies, had demonstrable Rh isoimmunization at the time of that injection and must be considered "logistic" failures of antenatal prophylaxis. The remaining 1084 (who were treated again after delivery) had no evidence of Rh isoimmunization at delivery and none of the 512 screened at 6 months after delivery appeared to be immunized. If the 28th-week injection had not been protective, one would have expected 14 of the 1084 to have been demonstrably Rh isoimmunized and evidence of Rh isoimmunization to have persisted in 6 of the 512 observed 6 months after delivery.Six of 719 Rh-negative multigravidas who had not received Rh immune globulin after previous pregnancies or had been treated only after delivery showed evidence of Rh isoimmunization despite a single injection of Rh immune globulin at 28 weeks in a subsequent pregnancy. In three of the six the cause was most likely "sensibilization" due to previous exposure to Rh-positive blood or an untreated Rh-positive pregnancy. in 3 of the remaining 716 (0.42%) there may have been true failure of antenatal Rh prophylaxis administered at the 28th week. One would have expected this figure to be 12 of 716 if antenatal Rh prophylaxis at 28 weeks' gestation were totally unsuccessful.It is concluded that a single intramuscular injection of Rh immune globulin, 300 mug, is 88% effective in preventing Rh isoimmunization during pregnancy in Rh-negative primigravidas and in multigravidas treated antenatally in all previous pregnancies, and is 75% effective in preventing Rh isoimmunization in Rh-negative multigravidas untreated during previous pregnancies. The majority of failures are due to Rh isoimmunization during pregnancy prior to antenatal prophylaxis at 28 weeks.

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