ABO Blood Incompatibility Can Cause High Bilirubin, Kernicterus Or Cerebral Palsy In A Newborn

ABO blood type incompatibility can occur when the blood type of the baby or newborn, differs from the mother's blood type. This can happen if:

  • The mother's blood type is O and the baby's blood type is A, B or AB
  • The mother's blood type is A and the baby's blood type is B or AB
  • The mother's blood type is B and the baby's blood type is A or AB

In ABO hemolytic disease of the newborn, the maternal IgG antibodies for the specific ABO blood groups can pass through the placenta and into the fetal or baby blood circulation where they can cause hemolysis or destruction of the newborn's red blood cells. The rapid destruction of the baby's blood cells can lead to severe anemia, hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN), erythroblastosis fetalis or even death to the baby.

Usually during pregnancy, the mother's blood and the baby's blood do not mix together but sometimes it can due to abdominal trauma, birth or some other reason. If this happens, antibodies can form and then be passed across the placenta into the baby's circulation and cause destruction of the baby's red blood cells. When the blood cells are destroyed, it causes an increase in bilirubin in the baby. If too much bilirubin is produced the baby can become yellow or jaundiced and develop kernicterus or cerebral palsy.

Obstetricians, nurse midwives and nurses need to check and see if the cause of jaundice in a newborn could be due ABO incompatibility and if so, treat it right away to prevent kidney failure, spleen damage, severe anemia, brain damage, kernicterus, cerebral palsy or death. If your baby is suffering due to a failure to diagnose and treat the problems caused by ABO incompatibility, please feel free to contact one of our experienced birth injury lawyers, doctors or nurses for a strictly confidential and free consultation. Our experienced jaundice and high bilirubin teams consist of doctors, labor and delivery nurses, and neonatal intensive care (NICU) nurses who have actually cared for treated newborns with hemolytic anemia and high bilirubin levels. Since 1958, we have had hundred's of million and multi-million dollar verdicts awarded on behalf of babies injured at birth. We were there when they needed us and we are here for you now. Please contact us toll free at (215) 866-2424 to speak with a member of our newborn birth injury medical team.