Rh Immune Globulin
How It Works
Rh immune globulin contains Reference antibodies Opens New Window to the Reference Rh factor Opens New Window in blood. The antibodies come from donors who have become Reference sensitized Opens New Window to the Rh factor. Giving these Rh antibodies to an Rh-negative pregnant woman prevents her Reference immune system Opens New Window from producing its own Rh antibodies, which would attack her Rh-positive fetus's red blood cells.
When introduced into an Rh-negative mother's bloodstream, Rh immune globulin antibodies locate any Rh-positive fetal red blood cells that are present. The antibodies attach to the Rh-positive red blood cells, masking their presence from the mother's immune system. Although the Rh immune globulin antibodies destroy fetal red blood cells, not enough are destroyed to harm the fetus.
Rh immune globulin is given by injection into a muscle (intramuscular, or IM).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: October 20, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference William Gilbert, MD - Maternal and Fetal Medicine