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Fetomaternal Hemorrhage Increases Fetal Death Risk

6 fetal deaths over 8 years linked to massive fetomaternal hemorrhage in 48 patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Massive fetomaternal hemorrhages, particularly those with a hemorrhage volume of 20 ml/kg or more, can increase the risk of fetal death and other complications before and after birth, researchers report in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Chrystele Rubod, M.D., of Universite Lille 2, in Lille, France, and colleagues analyzed eight years of neonatal and obstetric data from patients in two university hospitals who had Kleihauer test values of 40 fetal erythrocytes per 10,000 maternal erythrocytes or more. Testing was conducted due to abdominal trauma, fetal distress and other reasons, but the cause was unknown in 83 percent of cases.

The researchers found that massive fetomaternal hemorrhage occurred in 48 patients, involving six fetal deaths or 1.6 percent of fetal deaths in the eight-year period. Some 18.7 percent (9 of 42 liveborn infants) were moved to a neonatal intensive care unit, and 10.4 percent required transfusions. The risk of induced preterm delivery, intensive care unit transfer, anemia requiring transfusion and fetal death rose with hemorrhages volume.

"When the transfused volume equals or exceeds 20 milliliters per kilogram, massive fetomaternal hemorrhage may lead to severe prenatal or neonatal complications," the authors wrote.

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