An exchange transfusion where the child's blood was replaced with 400 ml fresh donor blood through the umbilical cord was done

A critically-ill new born admitted to the Annal Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital on the first day of birth with severe jaundice due to RH incompatibility, recuperated after an exchange blood transfusion.

Life saving procedure

RH incompatibility arises when a mother with negative blood group has a foetus with positive blood group. The baby with O positive blood was born to a 29-year-old mother with O negative blood earlier this week at Viralimalai PHC, D.Saminathan, head, Department of Paediatrics, AGM Government Hospital, told The Hindu. The baby was referred to the government hospital here on account of jaundice within 20 hours of birth. With bilirubin, indicative of jaundice, measuring 25 mg on the first day of birth, a life saving procedure was necessitated.

An exchange transfusion where the child's blood was replaced with 400 ml fresh donor blood through the umbilical cord was done. The newborn is under observation in the neo natal intensive care unit of the hospital.

The first offspring of an RH negative mother, though it may have positive blood group, is usually unaffected. But antibodies are formed in the mother's blood during childbirth that may endanger subsequent pregnancies. If the antibodies enter the baby's bloodstream the newborn may develop jaundice, which if left untreated may lead to physical or mental disability, the paediatrician cautioned.

This is the first such case the hospital has seen this year and the third since the NICU opened in 2010, said A.Karthikeyan, Dean. RH incompatibility cases today have reduced as mothers are given immunoglobulin therapy after first delivery to neutralise antibodies, ensuring subsequent offspring are not affected. In this case, the mother had skipped the therapy. Early referrals from PHC are pertinent to save new borns with severe RH incompatibility.