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Haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn: do not miss a positive maternal antierythrocyte antibody screen

Abstract

Jaundice is one of the most common situations during the neonatal period. Alloimmune haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (AHDFN) is a major cause of pathological jaundice during the neonatal period. Since the establishment of anti-D prophylaxis, other antigens have gained greater clinical importance. The maternal antierythrocyte antibody screen is of great importance in monitoring pregnancy and in predicting the risk of AHDFN. A positive result should alert to the possibility of AHDFN and promote close surveillance of fetal anaemia, as well as neonatal anaemia and hyperbilirubinaemia. We describe a case of AHDFN due to incompatibility of the Rhesus c (Rhc) subgroup, diagnosed in pregnancy, but without effective transmission of information in the perinatal period, so a positive maternal antierythrocyte antibody screen was missed. This case highlights the importance of non-RhD antigens in this disease, but also the importance of a successful handoff of information in the delivery room.

  • neonatal intensive care
  • pregnancy
  • neonatal health

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