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Advances in Neonatal Care:
doi: 10.1016/j.adnc.2006.04.007
Neonatal Case File

CASE REPORT OF MASSIVE FETOMATERNAL HEMORRHAGE AND A GUIDELINE FOR ACUTE NEONATAL MANAGEMENT

MARKHAM, LORI A. RNC, MSN, NNP, CCRN1; CHARSHA, DIANNE S. RNC, MSN, CRNP2; PERELMUTER, BEZALEL MD1

Section Editor(s): CHARSHA, DIANNE S. RNC, MSN, CRNP

Continued Education
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Abstract

Massive fetomaternal hemorrhage resulting in profound anemia and shock is associated with high perinatal morbidity and mortality. Although diagnosis before delivery is difficult, the clinical index of suspicion rises when a woman presents with history of decreased or absent fetal movements and antenatal monitoring shows a sinusoidal rhythm strip. The diagnosis can be made quickly by demonstration of fetal red blood cells in the maternal circulation and there is consistent recommendation in the literature to immediately order a Kleihauer-Betke test. Clinical manifestations of a fetomaternal hemorrhage depend on the volume of blood lost and the rate with which it occurred. The severely compromised anemic infant indicative of acute hemorrhage will be pale with gasping respirations and signs of circulatory shock. Immediate intervention with volume resuscitation is crucial for optimal outcome. This article describes a patient with massive fetomaternal hemorrhage and subsequent devastating neonatal complications. The focus of this article is to provide clinical guidance for the management and care of the infant affected by profound anemia.

© 2006 National Association of Neonatal Nurses

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