What are fetal transfusions?
Pregnancies affected by Red Blood Cell alloimmunization (Rh sensitization), other types of isoimmunization, parvovirus infection or inherited RBC disorders may be discovered by diagnosis of fetal anemia.
The fetal transfusions procedure
Ultrasound evaluation for suspected fetal anemia may detect changes in fetal blood flow documented by Doppler that would warrant further fetal intervention.
Who is a good candidate for fetal transfusions?
In suspected fetal anemia, cardiocentesis is used to sample fetal blood for further quantification and characterization. A small needle is guided by ultrasound into the baby’s umbilical blood vessel to retrieve a small sample of fetal blood. Immediate results allow for subsequent transfusion of red blood cells to the affected fetus. In fetal anemia multiple transfusions may be necessary. Regular ultrasound evaluation of fetal blood flow using Doppler technology will determine the timing of subsequent transfusions.