20 doctors weighed in:

Why the Rh is imporyant?

20 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology
12 doctors agree

In brief: Unborn child

Some people have the common rh sensitizing antigen on their red cells and some don't; it's inherited.
If dad has this and mom does not, mom can make antibodies against it (especially after the first such baby); these can cross the placenta and destroy the child's red cells, causing severe illness or death -- once very common. Rhogam at delivery usually prevents mom from getting sensitized.

In brief: Unborn child

Some people have the common rh sensitizing antigen on their red cells and some don't; it's inherited.
If dad has this and mom does not, mom can make antibodies against it (especially after the first such baby); these can cross the placenta and destroy the child's red cells, causing severe illness or death -- once very common. Rhogam at delivery usually prevents mom from getting sensitized.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Dr. Ed Friedlander
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Dr. Steven Machtinger
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
9 doctors agree

In brief: Anemia in 2nd child

When red blood cells from an rh positive (rh+) fetus crosses the placenta to the bloodstream of an rh negative mom, mother's immune system begins to make antibodies against these foreign cells.
When a subsequent pregnancy has another rh+ fetus, maternal antibodies cross the placenta & destroy baby's red blood cells resulting in an anemia that can be life-threatening. It's preventable with rhogam.

In brief: Anemia in 2nd child

When red blood cells from an rh positive (rh+) fetus crosses the placenta to the bloodstream of an rh negative mom, mother's immune system begins to make antibodies against these foreign cells.
When a subsequent pregnancy has another rh+ fetus, maternal antibodies cross the placenta & destroy baby's red blood cells resulting in an anemia that can be life-threatening. It's preventable with rhogam.
Dr. Steven Machtinger
Dr. Steven Machtinger
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