Medical Miracles in the Womb

Transfusions

A blood transfusion while still in the womb can help a fetus with severe anemia resulting from Rh disease (an incompatibility between the blood of the mother and her fetus that causes destruction of the baby's red blood cells). Transfusions are usually given using cordocentesis and can begin as early as the 18th week of pregnancy, saving more than 90 percent of these babies. Fortunately, Rh disease is rare today; women who have the Rh-negative blood associated with it are routinely given shots of a substance called immunoglobulin, which usually prevents the disease in their babies.

A technique similar to cordocentesis can also transplant bone marrow cells into fetuses who would otherwise be born with certain life-threatening immune system disorders and anemias, such as sickle cell.

Find a Baby Name

Browse by

or Enter a name

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment