Aim To describe neonatal outcomes following intrauterine transfusion (IUT) for severe Rhesus isoimmunisation from 1993 to 2004.
Results 116 neonates who had undergone 457 IUTs (median 4, range 1–9) were identified. Three neonates died, all before 1995 (two because of hypoxic ischaemic multiorgan failure and one because of overwhelming Escherichia coli sepsis). 13 neonates (11%) were delivered by emergency Caesarean section following either IUT complication or spontaneous onset of preterm labour. They were more likely to require intubation (p<0.0001), on-going respiratory support (p=0.0007) and an exchange transfusion (p=0.007). 23 (20%) required an exchange transfusion and 63 (54%) at least one top-up transfusion.
Conclusions Management of severe Rhesus disease is associated with encouraging neonatal outcomes and most infants can be managed with phototherapy and a few top-up transfusions. IUT complications are rare but significantly increase neonatal mortality and morbidity. Antenatal counselling should address the likely postnatal course for these infants.
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