Blood group & RhD status and red cell alloantibodies
The UK NSC policy on Blood group & RhD status and red cell alloantibodies screening in pregnancy
Identifying blood group, rhesus D status and red cell antibodies in pregnant women is important to prevent haemolytic disease of the newborn and to identify possible transfusion problems. Haemolytic disease of the newborn, or rhesus disease, happens when antibodies in a mother's blood attack her baby's blood cells. It may cause jaundice, severe anaemia, heart failure and death.
Testing should be offered for blood group and RhD status and screening should be offered for atypical red cell alloantibodies.
This policy was reviewed in Jul 2006 but no significant changes were made. It is due to be considered again in 2012/13, or earlier if significant new evidence emerges.
Evidence Supporting the Policy
National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health. Commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Antenatal care: routine care for the healthy pregnant woman. CG62: full guidance. March 2008 (corrected June 2008).
See page 121 of this guideline (in Chapter 8 Screening for haematological conditions) for the section on blood grouping and red cell alloantibodies.
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the policy is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us.