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Prevention of immunization to D+ red blood cells with red blood cell exchange and intravenous Rh immune globulin.

Author(s): Nester TA, Rumsey DM, Howell CC, Gilligan DM, Drachman JG, Maier RV, Kyles DM, Matthews DC, Pendergrass TW

Affiliation(s): Puget Sound Blood Center, the University of Washington, the Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, and the Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA. theresan@psbc.org

Publication date & source: 2004-12, Transfusion., 44(12):1720-3.

BACKGROUND: Although young women who are D- occasionally receive unintentional transfusions with D+ red blood cells (RBCs), there are little data to assist with management of such an event. Two cases of D- girls transfused with D+ RBCs are reported. In an effort to prevent formation of anti-D, RBC exchange followed by administration of intravenous (IV) Rh immune globulin (RhIg) was used. CASE REPORTS: Patient 1, a 56-kg, 16-year-old D- girl, was involved in a motor vehicle crash. She received 4 units of Group O uncrossmatched D+ RBCs. Thirty-six hours after admission, she underwent RBC exchange with 10 units of D- RBCs, followed by a total of 2718 microg of IV RhIg over 32 hours. Six months later, her antibody screen was negative. Patient 2, a 39-kg, 10-year-old D- girl with aplastic anemia, received 1 unit of D+ RBCs. She underwent RBC exchange on the same day with 5 units of D- RBCs, followed by a total of 900 microg of IV RhIg over 8 hours. Six months later her antibody screen was negative. CONCLUSION: RBC exchange followed by a calculated dose of IV RhIg was successful in preventing allo-immunization to D. Several small studies suggest that both trauma and hematology patients may be less capable of becoming immunized with the transfusion of D+ blood components. Until these findings are more clearly defined, there will be times when prevention of immunization of any D- girl is desired. RBC exchange followed by RhIg appears to be one way to achieve this goal.

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