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Erythroblastosis Fetalis
Erythroblastosis fetalis, also called hemolytic disease of the newborn, hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn, HDN, HDFN, is a blood disorder that the fetus or newborn’s red blood cells (RBCs) are being agglutinated by antibodies which are produced by the mother.
This disease is very preventable, so catching it early is good for mother and baby. If left untreated, it might kill the fetus.
There are eight different types of blood: A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-, O+, O-. Blood types are based on the presence or absence of antigens (also called agglutinogens) which are the substances on the membrane of the red blood cells (RBCs). These antigens are either proteins or sugars, depending on the blood group system. …show more content…
It is considered less harmful to the fetus. Sometimes, it even hasn’t to be treated.
Rh Incompatibility
Erythroblastosis fetalis due to the Rh blood group incompatibility is much severe than ABO incompatibility. This occurs when a Rh negative mother has a Rh positive baby. In such a case, the mother’s immune system sees the baby’s Rh positive antigen as a foreign invader. As a result, the immune system make antibodies (anti-Rh) to destroy the baby’s red blood cells.
Normally, Rh incompatibility is not a problem if it’s a first pregnancy. However, most problems occur in subsequent pregnancies with another Rh positive baby. This is because when the first Rh positive baby is born, the mother’s blood creates anti-Rh to against the Rh factor. During the further pregnancy, these antibodies cross the placenta and clump the Rh positive cells in the baby’s blood.
Symptoms Of Erythroblastosis Fetalis
HDN always leads to anemia or low blood count, because of the prolonged destruction of the red blood cells. Erythroblasts (known as immature red blood cells) will also present in the baby’s circulation. After the baby is born, he or she may have a pale skin due to the …show more content…
Hemolysis also leads to increased bilirubin level, but it is not a problem before delivery. This is because placenta has the ability to remove the bilirubin from the baby’s circulation. However, after the baby is born, bilirubin cannot be cleared due to his or her immature liver. As a result, jaundice (skin and eyes become yellow) happens within 24 hours after the baby’s birth.
If the level of bilirubin continue to increase, acute or chronic kernicterus may occur. Kernicterus is an abnormal accumulation in the brain, and it causes brain tissue damage.
Hepatomegaly and Splenomegaly
The baby with HDN has his or her liver and spleen in a large-than-normal size. This is because those organs have to increase their size to produce more red blood cells. Furthermore, they lose their functions.
Edema which is known as hydrops is another condition that the baby with HDN can experience. Fluid accumulates in the heart, lungs, and abdomen, and causes tissues in these areas start swollen.
Hydrops fetalis is a fatal condition, and the fetus may die in the utero or soon after

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