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Treatment requirements of infants with rhesus isoimmunisation within a geographically defined area
  1. A Greenough1,
  2. G Hartnoll2,
  3. H Hambley3,
  4. J Richards4
  1. 1Department of Child Health, King’s College Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2University Hospital, Lewisham, UK
  3. 3Welsh Blood Service, Pontyclun, Wales
  4. 4Department of Public Health-Clinical Audit, West Kent Health Authority, Aylesford, Kent, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor Greenough, Department of Child Health, 4th floor, Ruskin Wing, King’s College Hospital, London SE5 9RS, UK;


Objective: To provide population based data on the treatment requirements of infants with rhesus isoimmunisation.

Setting: Twenty nine hospitals in South Thames in which 81 119 deliveries occurred between February 1999 and January 2000.

Design: Every month, a clinician identified in each of the hospitals sent back a postcard indicating whether or not an infant with RhD had required treatment in their institution. Antenatal and postnatal information was then requested from all those who gave positive responses.

Main outcome measures: Requirement for postnatal treatment for rhesus isoimmunisation.

Results: During the one year study period, only 26 infants required treatment for rhesus isoimmunisation. The median duration of phototherapy of the 26 infants was five days (range 1–12). Seven infants required at least one exchange transfusion (two required two exchange transfusions), and seven infants received one “top up” transfusion. None received erythropoietin and no infant died.

Conclusion: The results suggest that few infants require treatment for rhesus isoimmunisation.

  • rhesus isoimmunisation
  • exchange transfusion
  • phototherapy

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