When a mother has Rh negative blood and the fetus has Rh positive blood, the mother’s blood and her unborn baby’s blood will be incompatible. As a result, maternal antibodies may be able to penetrate the placenta and destroy the fetus’ red blood cells.
The risk of harm to the fetus is almost nonexistent in the first pregnancy, but it greatly increases with each subsequent pregnancy. However, preventive measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate harm. If your baby has been harmed because of blood incompatibility, and doctors did not recognize the condition or take preventive measures, you may have a viable birth injury lawsuit.
Blood Incompatibility: Rh Negative and Rh Positive
Blood incompatibility is among the leading causes of blood-related problems in newborns that can lead to death. When a woman with Rh negative blood becomes pregnant with an Rh positive baby, her system will develop antibodies against the fetus’ blood cells.
Since it will take a great deal of time for the mother to develop antibodies, her first delivery will usually not be affected, unless she has had a prior miscarriage or abortion. In subsequent pregnancies, the mother’s immune system will treat the fetus’ Rh-positive cells as if they are a foreign substance, and the fetal results could be anemia, heart problems or death.
Your medical history is a key part of the preventive measure for an Rh blood incompatibility. Your doctor should perform complete blood tests and inquire about past pregnancies, miscarriages and abortions. For this reason, you need to be completely honest with your doctor. Your mate’s blood will also need to be tested since Rh positive blood can be passed down to the baby from the father.
When it is determined that your baby will be Rh positive, your doctor should treat you with injections of RhoGAM, which will prevent your system from developing antibodies against the fetus’ blood.
Blood Incompatibility: The Main Blood Types
There can also be a blood incompatibility among the 3 main blood types: A, B and O. When the mother has type O and the baby has type A, B or AB, if their blood mixes the mother will develop antibodies against the baby’s blood type. The result could be anemia, jaundice or, in severe cases, the need for a blood transfusion.
Babies who are born jaundiced should be tested for an ABO blood incompatibility and treated accordingly to avoid complications such as kidney failure and death.
If your doctor failed to take preventive measures against an Rh incompatibility or failed to recognize an ABO incompatibility in your baby, a Cleveland birth injury lawyer might be able to help you file a claim for compensation.
Our experienced Cleveland birth injury lawyers understand the complexities of a blood incompatibility and may conduct a thorough investigation to determine who should be held accountable for your baby’s birth injury. Our Cleveland birth injury lawyers might be able to help you receive compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Since filing and building your case can be extremely time-consuming, you’ll find it may help to have a Cleveland birth injury lawyer handle the details of your claim, while you focus on your baby.