What is erythroblastosis fetalis?
Erythroblastosis fetalis is also known as haemolytic anaemia in the newborn. This occurs due to blood incompatibility in the mother and foetus. Due to this incompatibility, the antibodies present in the mother’s blood, will pass through the placental barrier and attack the blood cells of the foetus. This will lead to the destruction of the red blood cells of the foetus and it is likely to cause anaemia in the foetus. This condition varies from mild to very serious. In its moderate or severe stage, the erythroblasts or immature red blood cells are formed in the blood of the foetus and this disease is called erythroblastosis fetalis.
Why does it happen?
The two main causes of erythroblastosis fetalis are Rh incompatibility and ABO incompatibility.
How to avoid it?
It is a highly preventive condition. Firstly, you have not tested your blood group; it is advised to get it tested along with the blood group of the father. If you already know your blood group, then you must mention it to your doctor. If the father has a negative blood group, then there will be no problem. However, if the father is Rh-positive, then it is advised to get routine tests done by the doctor.
The other preventive measure to take is a treatment called RhoGAM or the Rh immunoglobulin. It reduces the reaction of the mother to the baby’s blood cells. This shot is administered around the 28th week of the pregnancy. It is also administered 72 hours after the birth of the baby with a positive blood group.