Preventing RhD haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn: where to next?

James P Isbister and Amanda Thomson
Med J Aust 2019; 211 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50325
Published online: 16 September 2019

Non‐invasive fetal RhD genotyping will enable ethical and cost‐effective targeting of prophylaxis

There are many unique and inspiring aspects to the story of haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn. This once common, mysterious, and potentially devastating disease has been known for centuries. It may have been the reason for the shocking obstetric history of Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII; the course of British history might have been very different had anti‐RhD been available in Tudor England.1

  • James P Isbister1
  • Amanda Thomson2

  • 1 Sydney Medical School, Sydney, NSW
  • 2 Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Sydney, NSW

Competing interests:

James Isbister is a member of the Independent Advisory Committee of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and Chair of the National Blood Authority Patient Blood Management Implementation Steering Committee. Amanda Thompson is a member of the National Blood Authority expert reference group for development of a clinical practice guideline on the use of RhD immunoglobulin in maternity care.


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