Erythroblastosis fetalis

Erythroblastosis fetalis


Erythroblastosis fetalis develops in an unborn infant because the mother produces antibodies that attack the fetus' red blood cells. This happens when the mom and the baby have different blood types. The most common form is called is ABO incompatibility, which can vary in its severity. The less common form is called Rh incompatibility, which more often causes a very severe anemia in the baby.

The severity of this condition can vary widely. In some instances, the baby has no symptoms of the disease. In other cases, it can lead to death of the baby before or shortly after birth. It can be treated in utero (before birth) by intrauterine transfusion.

When the child is born, signs may include an enlarged liver or spleen, generalized edema (swelling), jaundice, and anemia

The most severe form of this disease, Rh incompatibility, can be prevented if the mother takes a medicine called RhoGAM at certain times during and after pregnancy. If you have had a baby with this disease, be sure to talk with your doctor if you plan on having another baby.

Alternative Names

Hemolytic disease of the newborn
Erythroblastosis fetalis
Epidemic arthritic erythema
Adolescent pregnancy
Peritonitis - secondary
Abortion - elective or therapeutic
Erythema multiforme
Fungal infection - body
Epstein pearls

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