Pregnancy is one of the most important
milestones in the life of a woman. Every woman wants to have a healthy and safe
pregnancy. For a healthy and safe pregnancy basic test such as blood test to
determine blood type is very important. Antibody screening and Rh status are also
to be tested. These tests can prevent future complications. Rh status helps in
determining the possibility of antibody â€“ antigen collision. Read on to know
Pregnancy is a vital decision as you are bringing another
life into this world. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to ensure
that the child is born with good health and the health of the mother is also
protected to withstand the rigours of the bearing and nurturing of the child.
During pregnancy there can be a requirement of blood transfusion and so several
blood tests like blood type and antibody screens must be done before planning
The Rh Factor
Screening is very important
Through these blood tests, three aspects are checked: Blood
type, the Rh status along with an anti-body screen. It is very important to
know whether you belong to the Rh
negative category. This is because they need to be administered an
immunoglobulin called RhoGAM when they are in the twenty-eighth week of their
pregnancy and repeated just within seventy-two hours of the expected delivery
time. These arrangements and reports must be ready well in advance so that any
possible complications can be successfully averted.
The Vitality of RhGAM
The purpose of RhoGAM is to keep the woman from becoming Rh
sensitised. This entails that the medication effectively prevents the spurring
of an anti-body response in case the pregnancy results in an Rh positive baby.
This immunoglobulin is also administered when there is a possibility of the
motherâ€™s blood getting mixed with the fetal blood due to the occurrence of any
unforeseen circumstances or in case of amniocentesis.
Importance of Antibody
Through an antibody screening test, the presence of
antibodies are detected which can belong to both the Rh and the less common
variants that are likely to be found in the fetus when the pregnancy takes
place. This screening is also extremely important due to the fact that these
antibodies harbor the risk of the future development of myriad blood disease in
Importance of Determining
Blood types can be A, B, AB, O and Rh positive or negative.
The blood type needs to be determined before pregnancy so that the physician
can be prepared and plan accordingly. The objective is to avert complications
that result when the blood type of the mother and the fetus are different from
each other. The condition can be a cause of concern if there are antibodies or
antiglobulins in the blood stream of the mother as they can negatively react
with the antigens or proteins and factors present in the red blood cells of the
fetus. The condition is termed as Hemolytic disease of the newborn or HDN.
If an Rh negative carries an Rh positive fetus, the immune
system of the mother develops antibodies that attach to the Rh positive
antigens present in the blood cells of the fetus and targets them towards
annihilation. It has been observed that the Rh positive baby born of the first
pregnancy can combat the risk but if the future pregnancies also bear Rh
positive babies, they are likely to get affected.
How is this Dealt
The doctor seeks to reduce the possibility of the Rh
negative mother from developing the antibody. This is exactly why RhoGAM is
administered. If the woman has amniocentesis, abdominal injury or chronic
villus sampling, she might be prescribed some additional injections. It is
important to perform an antibody screening test prior to the administration of
If it is observed that the fetus is falling ill due to
this antibody-antigen collision, intrauterine transfusion might be resorted to
along with an early delivery. The decision is of course taken by the doctor
after thorough screenings and checkups.