Rhogam & Pregnancy

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Dr. Alison MacInnes, MD, FRCPC, Local Family Physician discusses Rhogam & Pregnancy

Dr. Alison MacInnes, MD, FRCPC, Local Family Physician discusses Rhogam & Pregnancy

Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Alison MacInnes, MD, FRCPC
Rhogam & Pregnancy
Duration: 1 minute, 57 seconds

So about 10 percent of women are blood type Rh negative.

So when you hear the blood type, you hear people saying A positive, A negative, B positive, B negative. So it’s the negatives. So these are Rh negative mothers. And these need a special consideration during pregnancy. So these mothers are given RhoGAM, which is a shot. It’s a medicine made up of pooled blood, completely safe. Never been a known case of anything transmitted via RhoGAM, but it has been a concern of a lot of mothers.

So this is a shot that’s given at 28 weeks of pregnancy and after delivery, if the baby is Rh positive. So what RhoGAM is is it’s made up of antibodies that are directed against the Rh antigen on the fetal blood cells. So what happens is if the fetal blood cells enter the maternal circulation during pregnancy, Rogam will bind to these red blood cells and prevent the mother from developing antibodies against them.

It’s not so important in the current pregnancy, but it prevents what’s called hemolytic disease of the newborn in subsequent pregnancies. There is a risk in future pregnancies if a woman isn’t treated with RhoGAM and goes on to develop antibodies against the Rh positive antigen. This we can measure in their blood, so that we know if there is this risk for future pregnancies.

So RhoGAM can only be prescribed by your maternity care provider, and it can only be supplied by the blood bank at your local hospital. So it isn’t something that you get from the pharmacy. You need a doctor’s prescription, and you go in and pick it up at about 28 weeks of pregnancy. It can be kept in your fridge for up to a week, but the sooner you get the shot in your doctor’s office the better.

If people have any questions concerning RhoGAM, they should speak with their healthcare provider.

Presenter: Dr. Alison MacInnes, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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