Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention of Isoimmune Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn

  • David B. Acker
  • Fredric D. FrigolettoJr.
  • Irving Umansky


Progress in understanding and treating hemolytic diseases of the fetus and newborn due to RhO(D) isoimmunization is well documented in the medical literature. Wysowski et al. (1979) noted that the incidence of Rh disease declined from 45 to 21 per 10,000 live births between 1970 and 1975. These data, from a birth defects screening program, if applied to all births in the United States, imply an estimated reduction in the number of newborn infants suffering from Rh isoimmunization from 16,000 to 6000. Similarly, the infant mortality from all hemolytic diseases of the newborn also decreased, from 2.7 per 10,000 live births (a total of 941 deaths) to 0.9 per 10,000 live births (a total of 269 deaths) by 1975. Successful management of erythroblastosis fetalis and almost complete prevention of Rh disease of the newborn are possibilities. To achieve these goals all health care providers must maintain up-to-date knowledge of current treatment and controversies. This chapter will therefore review three broad areas of concern: (1) Counseling the already sensitized patient who desires another pregnancy; (2) evaluation of new methods of management of the affected fetus; and (3) identification of the reproductive events that result in sensitization.


Amniotic Fluid Ectopic Pregnancy Spontaneous Abortion Exchange Transfusion Hemolytic Disease 
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Copyright information

© Aubrey Milunsky 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Acker
    • 1
  • Fredric D. FrigolettoJr.
    • 2
    • 3
  • Irving Umansky
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Departments of Obstetrics-GynecologyBeth Israel Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of ObstetricsBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics-GynecologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Blood Grouping LaboratoryCenter for Blood ResearchBostonUSA
  6. 6.Department of MedicineChildren’s Hospital Medical CenterBostonUSA
  7. 7.Department of HematologyBoston Hospital for WomenBostonUSA

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