The Devastating Effects of Rh or ABO Blood Incompatibility

Rh and ABO blood incompatibility between a mother and her fetus can cause severe harm to babies if not recognized early on.

Blood Incompatibility

If a baby has Rh positive blood and the mother has Rh negative blood, the blood is incompatible.  The mother will develop antibodies against the babies’ Rh positive blood.  Similarly, if the mother has blood type O, and the fetus has blood type A, B, or AB, the mother will build up antibodies against the fetus’ blood type.  The blood incompatibly can lead to conditions like anemia and jaundice.

Fortunately, antibodies take time to develop.  As a result, the mother’s first pregnancy is generally never affected.  However, the second fetus born with Rh negative blood may be born after the mother has developed antibodies for the blood type.  With each pregnancy, dangers associated with incompatibility increase.

The mother’s blood is transfused to the baby’s blood, and her antibodies may attack the fetus’ red blood cells.  Fortunately, blood incompatibility is preventable and treatable.  Thus, a doctor should notice the incompatibility and take the necessary precautions to prevent any birth injuries.  If the doctor does not, the doctor may be facing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

In order to try to prevent injury stemming from blood incompatibility, a doctor should review the mother and father’s medical history closely, because babies inherit blood from their parents.  Hence, it is important that the parents are completely honest with the doctor so he or she can have a clear picture of the likely makeup of the baby.  The doctor should perform blood tests on both parents to be prepared for any potential blood mixing and blood incompatibility.

The doctor then needs to test the baby’s blood.  If the doctor discovers that the baby will have Rh positive blood, the doctor needs to treat the mother with specific medication to prevent the mother from building up antibodies against that type of blood, which will attack the baby’s red blood cells.

If your baby has suffered injury due to blood incompatibility, contact a birth injury attorney immediately.  An attorney can obtain the relevant medical records, analyze the facts of your case, and find out where the doctor deviated from the standard of care of other professional medical doctors.

Posted in Birth Injury

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