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Rh Factor

Treatment For Rh Disease

If a woman has become sensitized during a previous pregnancy, she can still take steps to prevent future babies who are Rh positive from developing Rh disease. Unfortunately, once a woman has the harmful antibodies in her blood, there is no way to remove them.

A pregnant woman who has already been sensitized from a previous pregnancy will want her doctor to carefully monitor the level of antibodies in her blood throughout her pregnancy. As long as the antibody levels remain relatively low, no problem exists. But if those levels rise, the fetus will need special attention. High antibody levels mean that the fetus's red blood cells are being attacked and destroyed.

A fetus whose red blood cells are being destroyed will need a blood transfusion while it is still in the uterus. Two or three transfusions may be necessary before the baby is born. If the fetus shows signs of illness close to its anticipated birth, the physician may elect to deliver the baby early, either through an induced birth or with a cesarean section. The baby will then receive a transfusion after birth.


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