The role played by the Rh factor in the etiology of transfusion reactions has been well known since the work of Wiener and Peters1 and of Levine and his co-workers.2 These reactions may be divided into two groups. The first and most common is that occurring in Rh negative pregnant or postpartum women because of the presence in their blood of anti-Rh agglutinins due to isoimmunization by Rh positive fetal blood. The second group is that occurring in Rh negative individuals who have been the recipients of one or more transfusions of Rh positive blood, as a result of which anti-Rh agglutinins have been formed in their blood. In both groups therefore the reactions are caused by the transfusion of Rh positive blood into recipients whose blood contains anti-Rh agglutinins.
The Army Whole Blood Procurement Service is particularly interested in this problem. The function of this service is
TISDALL LH, GARLAND DM, Durham EL. LARGE SCALE TESTING FOR Rh NEGATIVE BLOOD. JAMA. 1945;129(16):1079–1080. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860500011003
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