RHESUS DISEASE

Rhesus Disease is also referred to as haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN). It is a condition in which antibodies in a pregnant woman’s blood damage her baby’s blood cells. This disease does not affect the mother, but it might cause anemia and neonatal jaundice in the infant.

Furthermore, Rh-negative pregnant women with an infant whose father is Rh-positive are at risk. If you’ve already gotten pregnant, your chances are substantially greater. Unless you’ve been sensitized before to pregnancy, there’s usually little danger of Rh disease during a first pregnancy.

SYMPTOMS

A mother exhibits no symptoms of Rh disease. However, if you acquire antibodies, your baby may suffer. Your infant may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Lack of energy
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
  • Jaundice
  • Inflammation under the skin
  • Large stomach

So, if you or your infant are experiencing these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

DIAGNOSIS

Your doctor will ask you about your medical history and do an examination to diagnose Rhesus disease. In addition, your doctor may order the following tests:

Ultrasound. This test may reveal larger organs or fluid accumulation in your baby.

Amniocentesis. This test determines the level of bilirubin in the amniotic fluid. A needle is placed into your abdomen and uterine wall during this examination. It makes its way to the amniotic sac. The needle extracts an amniotic fluid sample.

Blood Test. This tests your blood for Rh-positive antibodies.

Fetal Blood Test.  During this examination, a blood sample is obtained from your baby’s umbilical cord. The blood will be tested for antibodies, bilirubin, and anemia.

TREATMENT

The stage of your pregnancy, as well as your general health, will determine your child’s treatment. The severity of the condition will also play a role. A blood transfusion to the infant may be required in more complicated situations. This procedure injects red blood cells into your baby’s bloodstream. A needle is inserted into your uterus during this examination. It enters your baby’s abdominal cavity and connects to a vein in the umbilical cord. To prevent your baby from wiggling, it may require sedative medication.

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