Rh incompatibility occurs whenever a woman carries an Rh positive child and her blood is negative. The resulting condition causes the creation of antibodies that can cause severe injuries to the child and may even be the cause of a miscarriage or stillborn baby. Proper precautions and monitoring is required for Rh negative mothers during their pregnancies and most complications can be avoided if the patient’s doctor is aware of the problem and treats it correctly. Failure to diagnose or treat Rh incompatibility can have disastrous consequences and may be cause for a malpractice lawsuit. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers’ birth injury attorneys are the leaders throughout Illinois in the successful representation of those who have been affected by acts of negligence during pregnancy and delivery.
The Cause of Rh Incompatibility
When anyone who has a negative blood type is exposed positive blood, the body begins to form antibodies in order to create an autoimmune response to what the body perceives as a foreign body in the blood stream. In most cases, Rh incompatibility does not after a mother’s first pregnancy because the exposure to the child’s Rh positive blood does not occur until delivery of the child. Subsequent pregnancies may be affected if the mother develops the antibodies in response to exposure to the child’s blood and those antibodies will attack the blood of future Rh positive children that the mother may carry. Rh incompatibility can also result from any of the following causes.
- Exposure to Rh positive blood as a result of a blood transfusion.
- Previous abortion of an Rh positive child.
- Fetal maternal hemorrhaging during the pregnancy.
Treatment and Prognosis
A medication called RHOgam is commonly prescribed for Rh negative mothers when they first become pregnant. This medication acts by preventing the formation of the antibodies during or after the first pregnancy so that subsequent pregnancies are not affected. In the event that the antibody has already been produced, there is no cure to Rh sensitivity and the child must be closely monitored throughout the pregnancy for signs of anemia and other complications. Many children of Rh negative mothers also present with jaundice at birth and the elevated bilirubin levels associated with the condition may cause severe brain damage, cerebral palsy or death.
In most cases, the prognosis is very positive and when treated properly, there is no cause for concern for either the mother or the child. Due to the preventable nature of complications associated with Rh incompatibility, it is important to hold doctors accountable if their failure to perform the proper tests or administer the right care was the cause of birth injuries. If your child was harmed due to these complications, it is important to discuss your case with a qualified personal injury lawyer to determine if negligence or medical malpractice played a part.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has a proven track record when representing those who have been injured during a pregnancy or birth. Our access to medical experts allows us to prove deviation from the standard of care effectively and those same experts can be relied on for expert testimony if your case goes to court. Contact us today for a free consultation so that we can answer your questions and let you know more about your rights.