Mother baby Rh incompatibility is one of the major cause of abortion or immediate death of new born babies. This occurs when the Rh-blood group women marries a Rh+ men, the baby will be Rh+. When the baby’s blood passes through placenta and enters the mother’s blood circulation it will be treated as foreign antigen and the immune system of mother will produce Rh- antibodies against the baby’s Rh+ blood .These antibodies when enter the baby blood will make the red blood cells burst. The baby becomes anemic due to loss of blood cells .The bilirubin end product of breakdown of red blood cell causes yellowing of baby skin. The bursting of baby red blood cells will either cause abortion or if the baby survives it will suffer from severe jaundice.

Rh incompatibility disease can be prevented by treating the mother during pregnancy or promptly within 72 hours after childbirth. The mother should be given intramuscular injection of anti-Rh antibodies . This should done so that the baby Rh+ cells destroyed before her immune system can discover them. The effect of the immunity will wear off after about 4 to 6 weeks as the anti-Rh antibodies gradually decline to zero in the mother blood. To solve this problem mother should be given anti-Rh antibodies during 34 weeks of pregnancy.

The doctors should carried out the Kleihauer-Betke test of mother’s blood sample, which confirms that baby blood has passed into the mother’s blood circulation and can also be used to estimate the amount of baby blood that has passed into the mother blood circulation.

MUHAMMAD RIZWAN ALI,

Islamabad, November 22.