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How does Rhogam decrease the risk of erythroblastosis fetalis?

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Prior to the development of Rhogam, a woman with blood type O- giving birth to a baby with blood type A+ had a 2% chance of developing an immune response and producing anti-Rh antibodies. A woman with blood type A- giving birth to a baby with blood type O+ had a 16% chance of immune response. Why do you think there such a large difference in risk? Why was the risk not higher in either case? How does Rhogam decrease this risk? Does the development of Rhogam mean erythroblastosis fetalis is no longer seen?

Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Blood Disorders
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.
The risk depends on the chances of feto maternal hemorrhage prior to the birth of the baby. The chances of development of antibodies in maternal body are higher as compared to development of antibodies in fetus if mother's blood group is not compatible.
Rhogam is an immunoglobulin which fights with Rh antibodies before they are able to trigger the body's immune system to produce the antibodies of its own.
Development of Rhogam has definitely reduced the inceidence of erythroblastosis but has not eliminated the problem because sometimes such hemorrhages during pregnancy go undetected in spite of repeated coomb's test monitoring.
Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Wishing you good health.

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