Rhesus isoimmunization is a condition wherein antibodies in the mother's blood attack and destroy the fetal red blood cells. This occurs when mother's blood group is Rh negative and that of the fetus is Rh positive. The mother usually gets sensitized due to previous pregnancy or previous mismatched blood transfusion. The rhesus isoimmunization causes jaundice in the newborn baby.
If the baby gets affected before birth, baby develops anaemia while still inside the uterus. Severe anaemia may lead to heart failure. These babies need to be closely monitored by repeated ultrasound scans to assess the severity of anaemia.
In extreme cases, the baby may need blood transfusion while still inside the uterus. This is carried out under the ultrasound guidance
Fetal hydrops is a condition wherein there is excessive accumulation of fluid in various body compartments, namely, around the heart, around the lungs, within the abdominal cavity and underneath the skin.
The conditions that can lead to fetal hydrops are many; to name a few common ones, Barts disease (alpha thalassemia major), congenital heart defects, congenital infection, chromosomal defects and so on.
Hence, once this condition is diagnosed, comprehensive investigations are necessary to identify the cause. Treatment should be directed at the identified cause but it is possible in only about one third of the cases. The main risk is that of fetal death due to the underlying pathology.
Please contact the Fetal Care Centre at the dedicated appointment line (65) 6772 5180 for easy access to our services and appointment booking, or email us at FCC@nuhs.edu.sg
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