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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 305-307

The pregnant Rhesus negative Nigerian woman

Department of Haematology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
T R Kotila
Department of Haematology, University College Hospital, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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OBJECTIVE: Alloimmunisation to Rhesus D (RhD) is a major factor in perinatal morbidity and may result in the compromise of the woman's obstetric career. In Nigeria accurate population based studies to determine the prevalence of Rhesus negative women and the incidence of alloimmunisation are lacking, hence we undertook to study pregnancy outcome in Rhesus negative women. METHOD: We studied retrospectively sixty-seven RhD negative women over a two year period; information was obtained from the case-file of all pregnant women who presented to the ante-natal clinic and were identified as Rhesus negative. This was corroborated with the blood bank record over the same period. RESULT: Forty per cent of these were nulliparae with an average of 0.5 abortions. Only 20% had the blood groups of their husbands documented, and only four babies born to these women had their Rhesus group recorded. Six of the babies appeared to have been severely affected by Rhesus isoimmunisation. Three of these had an exchange blood transfusion (EBT); all who had an EBT had a satisfactory outcome. Out of the other three, there were two neonatal deaths and one fresh stillbirth. Fourteen babies had neonatal jaundice with a mean bilirubin level of 6 mg/dl, all of which were mainly unconjugated. Evidence for the administration of anti D was obtained in only three patients; all had one ampoule (dose in i.u and/or _g not stated) administered within 72 hr. CONCLUSION: This preliminary study has shown that isoimmunisation due to Rhesus incompatibility is poorly studied among Nigerian women with many questions unanswered; therefore there is an urgent need for a management protocol for this condition, which will include both the clinicians and the laboratory physicians.

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