Jun. 28th, 2009

mellicious: pink manicure (buffy quote - flawed design)
erythroblastosis fetalis
A grave hemolytic anemia that, in most instances, results from development in the mother of anti-Rh antibody in response to the Rh factor in the (Rh-positive) fetal blood; characterized by many erythroblasts (red-blood precursor cells) in the circulation, and often generalized edema and enlargement of the liver and spleen; sometimes caused by antibodies for antigens other than Rh. Synonyms: congenital anemia, hemolytic disease of the newborn, Rh antigen incompatibility.


I was reading about this the other night after we were discussing Your Medieval Death, and it occurred to me that this might have been my sister's medieval death - not mine - since I am the older child of an Rh-negative mother. In case you've never heard of this, what happens is that an Rh-negative mother develops antibodies to the Rh factor with the first (Rh-positive) child, but the antibodies don't attack that first child, only subsequent ones. Actually, until I read about this in the other class, I had forgotten all about my mother being Rh-negative, but once I remembered that, I also remembered some discussions about this - apparently the drug that you take to prevent it (which I believe is called Rho-GAM or something to that effect) already existed in 1961, so my sister was born without incident. -- Well, without incident regarding Rh-factors anyway. There was the hurricane, but I've talked about that story before.

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