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April 3, 1972

Rh-Positive Blood for The Rh-Negative Patient

Author Affiliations

Charleston, SC

JAMA. 1972;220(1):133. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200010113036

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To the Editor.—  The reply of Grove-Rasmussen directed to the question "When May Rh-Negative Patient Receive Transfusion with Rh-Positive Blood?" (218:1580, 1971) failed to cite certain circumstances which should be carefully weighed in making a decision to transfuse the Rh-negative patient with Rh-positive blood.The statement that there is no reason to expect transfusion reactions in a non-Rh-sensitized Rh-negative patient is not arguable. However, the crux of the problem lies in the inability to establish with certainty the fact that the recipient has not been previously immunized. Quite conceivably, the patient may have been immunized in the past by transfusion of Rh-positive blood without currently possessing a demonstrable antibody to the Rho (D) antigen. Thus, the transfusion of Rh-positive blood could now elevate the antibody titer in such an individual, resulting in a transfusion reaction, though probably a delayed one.Identical conditions may be produced in the Rh-negative woman