The Rh incompatibility It is a condition that arises during pregnancy and cause of concern for many parents, but today it is easily detectable and preventable.
When you whole that you are expecting a baby, at the first antenatal visit they ask for a blood test to determine the Rh of the mother, a fundamental data for the monitoring of pregnancy.
Rh is a protein that is found in red blood cells. It is determined by an antigen (Antigen D) which lies on the surface of red blood cells also known as red blood cells, cells responsible for transporting the oxygen necessary for our organism.
When the Antigen is present in the blood, the person is Rh positive factor, instead if it is absent is Rh negative. The majority of people (85%) have Rh positive, but when the mother is RH-negative and the father Rh positive baby is two-thirds chance of inheriting the positive factor of the father and cause an incompatibility with the negative factor of the mother.
If the baby Rh factor is negative as the mother’s no problem, but if the baby inherited the positive factor of the father of fetal red blood cells can pass into the bloodstream of the mother and make that the mother’s immune system manufacture antibodies since it considers the blood of baby as something dangerous.
What is the danger of Rh incompatibility between mother and fetus?
The danger is that the mother’s antibodies may cross the placenta and begin to destroy the red blood cells of the fetus, and may cause from mild problems to some truly serious. It can cause anemia, jaundice (bilirubin increase), hypotonia, psychomotor delay even fetal death.
With the first pregnancy there is usually no problem since it takes time that the body of the mother believes antibodies by what the first baby rarely is affected unless there has been prior abortions.
Is for this reason that the second baby and the subsequent that are also positive Rh factor can be affected.
What is the Coombs Test?
That is why it is so important to detect early on in the pregnancy if the mother has begun to generate antibodies. This is a test call Indirect Coombs test, also known as indirect proof of antiglobulinas.
Is a test non-invasive that is done through a blood sample from the mother in the first quarter, in the 8th or 9th week, and repeat in the second quarter, in week 26 of pregnancy.
What is the treatment?
In the past, it was much more complex, but nowadays treatment is very simple. Called RhoGAM special Immune Globulins are used to prevent sensitivity caused by Rh incompatibility.
Both if the test results are positive and negative, if the father has Rh positive factor and negative mother pregnant woman receives an injection of gamma globulin anti-d around week 28 to prevent the manufacture of antibodies during childbirth, when the mother’s blood can mix with the baby, and another injection within 72 hours after childbirth to prevent the mother generates antibodies.
Also used in situations of risk such as amniocentesis, villus sampling biopsy and abdominal trauma.
If the woman has already developed antibodies, the pregnancy must be followed closely to control Rh levels are not very high. Only in exceptional cases if the incompatibility is very serious and can put at risk the baby are blood transfusions called exchange transfusions during pregnancy and after childbirth.
The blood exchange transfusions replaced the baby’s blood with red blood cells with RH-negative to minimize the damage that can cause Rh antibodies present in your blood flow circulation.