Hematology: Vaccinating the Rh-Negative

One out of every eight marriages in the U.S. is a potentially dangerous mismatch, biochemically speaking. In these 200,000 or more marriages a year, the wife lacks the Rh factor present in most blood and is Rh-negative; the husband has the factor and is Rh-positive. The difference does not usually affect the couple's first baby. But if the baby is Rh-positive, there is a progressively increasing chance of trouble in later pregnancies. In such cases, the Rh-negative mother develops an immunity to future Rh-positive babies and may send enough damaging antibodies into the developing child's bloodstream to cause stillbirth,...