Rh incompatibility - Symptom
Rh-induced hemolytic disease of the newborn
Rh incompatibility can cause symptoms ranging from very mild to deadly. In its mildest form, Rh incompatibility causes the destruction of red blood cells.
After birth, the infant may have:
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
- Low muscle tone (hypotonia) and lethargy
Signs and tests:
Before delivery, the mother may have an increased amount of amniotic fluid around her unborn baby (polyhydramnios).
There may be:
- A positive direct Coombs test result
- Higher-than-normal levels of bilirubin in the baby's umbilical cord blood
- Signs of red blood cell destruction in the infant's blood
- Reviewed last on: 8/30/2011
- A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Kimberly G Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (2/10/2011).
Stoll BJ. Blood disorders. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 103.
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