A 45-year-old member asked:
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an rh-positive baby is suffering from erythroblastosis fetalis. why would an exchange transfusion be performed?

3 doctor answers
Dr. Michael Dugan
Specializes in Hematology
To remove: The anti-rh antibodies and stom the rbc destruction.
Answered on Jan 7, 2013
Dr. Juan Merayo-Rodriguez
23 years experience Pathology
Increase RBC mass: Most likely the mother is Rh neg. and has made anti-Rh antibodies destroying baby's Rh pos. red cells. Exchange transfusion to the baby with Rh neg. blood will prevent hemolysis or transfused blood and increase oxygen capacity for the newborn. This process will also decrease the amount of bilirubin in baby's plasma and prevent kernicterus (yellow staining seen in parts of the brain)
Answered on Nov 13, 2014
1
1 comment
Dr. Johanna Fricke
50 years experience Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
"...of transfused blood". Last time I did an exchange transfusion for Rh incompatibility was in the early 70's. Your explanation is clear & concise. Kudos.
Nov 13, 2014
Dr. James Ferguson
46 years experience Pediatrics
Complex but simple: The increase in the bilirubin (dangerous) reflects a destruction of the babies red cells by antibodies. If you REMOVE the babies cells that are fragile & breaking down & replace them with ones that don't, then the destruction slows/stops. The exchange blood lasts long enough for the babies body to catch up with any left over jaundice & get on with being a newborn.
Answered on Aug 21, 2017

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