Postpartum D immunoglobulin

1. D immunoglobulin is given to the D negative mother as soon after delivery as cord blood findings indicate that the baby is Rh positive.

2. A woman at risk who is inadvertently not given D immunoglobulin within 72 hours after delivery should still receive prophylaxis at any time up until two weeks after delivery. If prophylaxis is delayed, it may not be effective.

3. A quantitative Kleihauer-Betke analysis should be performed in situations in which significant maternal bleeding may have occurred (eg, after maternal abdominal trauma, abruptio placentae, external cephalic version). If the quantitative determination is thought to be more than 30 mL, D immune globulin should be given to the mother in multiples of one vial (300 mcg) for each 30 mL of estimated fetal whole blood in her circulation, unless the father of the baby is known to be D negative.

G. Abruptio placentae, placenta previa, cesarean delivery, intrauterine manipulation, or manual removal of the placenta may cause more than 30 mL of fetal-to-maternal bleeding. In these conditions, testing for excessive bleeding (Kleihauer-Betke test) or inadequate D immunoglobulin dosage (indirect Coombs test) is necessary.

References: See page 184.

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