How Common Is It?
While the disease once affected 20,000 babies in the U.S. each year, fortunately it's rare today. Since 1968, a treatment that prevents Rh disease (injections of a blood product called Rh immunoglobulin) has dramatically reduced the number of babies born with it.
But not all women who need the treatment get it, and a small number of women can't be helped by the injections. As a result, some 4,000 babies still develop Rh disease each year. The good news is that the disease can be treated, and doctors are now able to manage it earlier than ever before, often even before birth. And in some cases Rh disease is so mild that it doesn't require treatment.