When You Need Rh Immune Globulin


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When You Need Rh Immune Globulin
What is Rh immune globulin (WinRho®)?
Rh immune globulin (WinRho®) is a blood product recommended whenever there is a
chance of an Rh negative woman forming antibodies. This could happen with:
a miscarriage
an abortion
an amniocentesis or chorionic villous sampling (CVS)
a trauma (e.g., a car accident while pregnant)
a transfusion
any other type of risk
What does it mean to be Rh negative?
There are four different blood types (A, B, AB, and O). There is also an antigen called
the Rh factor. If you have the Rh factor on your cells, you are Rh positive. If you don’t
have the Rh factor on your cells, you are Rh negative.
There is a 15 percent chance that you are Rh negative. Being Rh negative has no effect
on general health, but can cause problems during pregnancy.
How does being Rh negative affect pregnancy?
People who are Rh negative can make antibodies if exposed to Rh positive blood. This
can happen with a blood transfusion or during pregnancy.
If a woman is pregnant, some of the baby’s blood can come in contact with the mother
(this is normal). If this happens, antibodies can form. Antibodies are proteins the body
makes to protect itself when it reacts with something that is foreign.
If a woman is pregnant and Rh negative and her partner is Rh positive, she is at risk for
making Rh antibodies.
What can happen to my baby if I have Rh antibodies?
If you are pregnant and Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive, antibodies can form.
Antibodies can cross the placenta and cause a very bad problem for your baby, which is
called hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN). HDN can cause:
low hemoglobin (anemia)
toxins in the blood (jaundice)
brain damage
What can I do to lower the risk of HDN?
HDN can be prevented in 99.9 percent of Rh negative women with injections of WinRho
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