Medical Definition of Hemolytic disease of the newborn

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hemolytic disease of the newborn: Abnormal breakup of red blood cells in the fetus or newborn. This is usually due to antibodies made by the mother directed against the baby's red cells. It is typically caused by Rh incompatibility, that is differences between the Rh blood group of the mother and baby. Severe hemolytic disease can cause anemia and heart failure. Less-severe cases include jaundice, and can lead to brain damage is left untreated. Also known as erythroblastosis.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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