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Reasons for Procedure
Fetal blood transfusions are done because the baby in the womb is suffering from severe anemia and could die without this transfusion. Anemia can be caused by:
- Rh incompatibility —the mother and baby have a different type of blood, and mother’s antibodies to fetal blood cells lyse (destroy) fetal blood cells.
- Parvovirus B19 infection —a viral infection the mother can get
The goals of fetal blood transfusions are to:
- Prevent or treat fetal hydrops before delivery—Hydrops is caused by severe anemia in the fetus. The fetus develops heart failure. This leads to fluid collecting in the skin, lungs, abdomen, or around the heart.
- Continue pregnancy so the baby can be born close to term