Prophylaxis of Rhesus isoimmunization

Prophylaxis of Rhesus isoimmunization: How to Prevent Rh Disease

Rhesus isoimmunization, or Rh disease, is an immune reaction in which pregnant mothers with an Rh-negative blood type produce antibodies that attack the Rh-positive red blood cells of their developing baby. These antibodies can lead to severe anemia in the baby and, in some cases, even death. The good news is, there's a way to prevent this from happening – prophylaxis of rhesus isoimmunization. Here are the steps for how you can do it:

Step One: Get an Antibody Screen

The first step in prophylaxis of rhesus isoimmunization is to get an antibody screen. This test will tell you if you have any antibodies to Rh-positive red blood cells. If you do, you will need further tests to see if the fetus is affected. If you do not have any antibodies, the next step is to ensure that you are Rh-negative.

Step Two: Ensure You Are Rh-Negative

If you are uncertain of your blood type, you can get tested to make sure you are Rh-negative. This is important because if you are Rh-positive, your baby could inherit the Rh factor from you, which would put them at risk of developing Rh disease.

Step Three: Get an Rh Immunoglobulin Injection

Once you have confirmed that you are Rh-negative, your doctor may suggest that you get an Rh immunoglobulin injection. This injection contains antibodies that can prevent your body from producing its own antibodies to the Rh factor in your baby. It is recommended that you get this shot within 72 hours of any contact with an Rh-positive fetus or within 72 hours of delivering an Rh-positive baby.

Step Four: Get Follow-Up Blood Tests

Even after getting the Rh immunoglobulin injection, it is still important to get regular follow-up blood tests during your pregnancy as well as after delivery. This will help to monitor your antibodies levels to make sure that Rh disease is not developing.

Key Takeaways

Prophylaxis of rhesus isoimmunization is a procedure that can help to prevent a pregnant mother from developing antibodies to her baby’s Rh-positive red blood cells. It involves getting an antibody screen, ensuring that you are Rh-negative, and getting an Rh immunoglobulin injection as well as follow-up blood tests. Following this procedure can help to protect your baby’s health.