Rh blood group system

Rh Blood Group System

Rh blood group system

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Description:
The Rh (Rhesus) blood group system (including the Rh factor) is one of the currently 30 human blood group systems. It is clinically the most important blood group system after ABO. The Rh blood group system currently consists of 50 defined blood-group antigens, among which the 5 antigens D, C, c, E, and e are the most important ones. The commonly-used terms Rh factor, Rh positive and Rh negative refer to the D antigen only. Besides its role in blood transfusion, the Rh blood group system, in particular the D antigen, is a relevant cause of the hemolytic disease of the newborn or erythroblastosis fetalis for which prevention is key.

Rh factor

An individual either has, or does not have, the "Rhesus factor" on the surface of their red blood cells. This term strictly refers only to the most immunogenic D antigen of the Rh blood group system, or the Rh- blood group system. The status is usually indicated by Rh positive (Rh+, does have the D antigen) or Rh negative (Rh-, does not have the D antigen) suffix to the ABO blood type. However, other antigens of this blood group system are also clinically relevant. These antigens are listed separately (see below: Rh nomenclature). In contrast to the ABO blood group, immunization against Rh can generally only occur through blood transfusion or placental exposure during pregnancy.

History of discoveries

In 1939, Drs. Philip Levine and Rufus Stetson published in a first case report the clinical consequences of non-recognized......
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