Coombs Disease in Babies (Coombs Positive)

Yes, I know, it is not precisely “a top of the night news” interesting subject. However, with 4 million babies born each year in the United States alone, and an approximated 50% becoming jaundiced, getting the dish on babies turning yellow-colored is necessary.

Coombs Disease in Babies (Coombs Positive)

You believed laboring and providing your baby were going to be the hardest part of ending up being a brand-new mom. That lags you now and you have actually been up all night attempting to get your stunning baby to breastfeed, or at least stop yelling, then you learn that your baby is Coombs favorable and the tears you fought all night begin to fall. Yes, this is all very overwhelming. However, it is all going to be okay. Get a tissue, take a deep breath and continue reading.

What issues can occur for my baby when a Coombs test is positive?

Let’s talk first about the issues that the Coombs test can help to determine to comprehend why it is checked. Then we can discuss what the test steps and ways.

There are two primary problems that can take place in babies when a Coombs test is favorable: anemia and jaundice. The complicated part is that very few babies who are Coombs favorable will have these problems, and some babies that are Coombs unfavorable can have still develop them. So, a positive test informs us it is more crucial to expect anemia and jaundice, not which babies are going to require treatment.

Anemia: too couple of red blood cells

Anemia implies there are less red cell (rbcs) than typical. The primary role of rbcs is to bring oxygen. Babies that are really anemic appear pale, feed inadequately, can be extremely drowsy to the point of lethargy and have elevated rates of breathing and heartbeats (pulses). Babies with severe anemia may need oxygen, IV fluids to support nutrition and may even need a blood transfusion. Coombs (DAT) positive babies are at risk for anemia; many do not end up being anemic.

Jaundice: the dish on yellow-ish

Jaundice is a yellow color to a newborn’s skin and the white parts of the eyes. Almost all newborns develop moderate jaundice. It generally gets better or disappears on its own. It is a sign that there’s too much bilirubin in the baby’s bloodstream. The word for having too much bilirubin in the bloodstream is hyperbilirubinemia. Coombs positive babies are at greater risk for hyperbilirubinemia. Jaundice must be taken seriously. In unusual cases, if the bilirubin level reaches a really high level and isn’t dealt with, it can cause mental retardation called kernicterus. Kernicterus results in serious lifelong issues. Read on to discover how the Coombs test assists tell us why a baby might have excessive bilirubin and how we use that info to keep babies safe.

Coombs Disease in Babies (Coombs Positive)

What does it mean when a baby is coombs favorable?

It indicates that a blood test, called a Coombs test, or Direct Antibody Test (DAT), was done on your baby and was favorable. This test is often carried out on newborns. Generally the blood is taken from the baby’s cable while it is connected to the placenta following delivery. In some cases it is taken from the baby. The test tries to find markers of a reaction in between the blood group of the mommy and her baby.

When a baby is born (and often during the pregnancy), some of the blood in between the mother and baby mixes. A percentage of mom’s blood gets in the baby’s bloodstream. Sometimes this mixing can become an issue for the baby.

Mother and baby can have different blood types

Because of this, all pregnant women have a blood test during pregnancy to determine their blood group. A blood type (also called a blood group) is a category of blood based upon the existence or lack of substances on the surface of red cell (RBCs). There are significant blood groups: A, B, AB or O. There are numerous minor blood types, the most common is the Rhesus (Rh) which can be either “positive” or “negative”. Your blood type is noted as a mix of these two groups, for instance, O- or A+. There are numerous other types of less common minor blood groups that are not normally consisted of in calling your blood type. These might be important during the pregnancy of some women; your doctor will inform you if this is true for you. Your baby’s blood group is inherited from both parents. It is common that a baby will have a various blood group than the mom.

Reactions between mommy and baby blood

Often mama and baby have the very same blood groups. Commonly, a baby will have a various blood group than the mom. When the blood groups vary, a mother’s blood might “see” the baby’s blood group as various and produce substances called antibodies. These antibodies can cross into baby’s blood stream and cause the baby’s red cell to break. This antibody response is spotted by the coombs (DAT) test. Pregnant women who are Rhesus unfavorable (Rh-) may get a shot called Rho( D) immune globulin during pregnancy to avoid them from making antibodies against their baby’s blood. In some cases this injection can cause the coombs test to be favorable. Babies that are coombs positive for this factor do not develop anemia and jaundice.

What happens next for my baby?

It is essential to keep dealing with feeding since we understand that poor feeding can worsen jaundice. Medical personnel will also monitor your baby closely. Jaundice and anemia can be monitored by physical examinations, a special instrument called a bilimeter and blood tests, as needed. High jaundice levels will be treated with phototherapy. Phototherapy is treatment of jaundice utilizing a special light to help the baby’s body break down bilirubin into kind that it can be removed from the body. In rare cases, babies need more comprehensive treatment and assistance and the medical staff will explain precisely what is required for your baby if that occurs.

Going Home

A lot of babies that are Coombs (DAT) favorable go home at the usual time. It is possible that the anemia and jaundice might worsen after your baby has actually gone home. So, your baby will need to be seen once again within a few days of going home. Your baby’s development will be evaluated and further blood tests may be required.

When can I stop worrying? Will there be any long-term issues?

Close tracking of your baby in regard to severe anemia and hyperbilirubinemia in the days to first couple of weeks following birth is very important to supply the treatment each baby needs. Most babies do not have any long-term problems. Due to the fact that the mom’s blood and baby’s blood doesn’t mix any more after delivery, the reaction in the baby’s bloodstream gradually deals with and the baby naturally makes more new red cell.



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