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January 13, 1962


JAMA. 1962;179(2):160. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050020054011

Since the discovery of the Rhesus factor in 1940, and the subsequent relationship to hemolytic disease of the newborn, as described by Levine in 1941, physicians have been better able to bring about a more effective management of a pregnancy in which the mother is sensitized by an Rh-positive fetus. Recently, Finn1,2, 4 and associates at the University of Liverpool have published preliminary scientific data in the British Medical Journal on a possible prophylaxis for erythroblastosis fetalis.

A technique described by Kleihauer in 1957 was used to demonstrate fetal cells in 256 postpartum, Rh-negative women. By their criterion, the incidence of fetal cells in this group was 11.7%. None of the women with a significant number of fetal cells in her plasma was ABO incompatible with her child. Of those with no fetal cells, 23% were ABO incompatible. Furthermore, in the latter group, only 1 had Rhesus antibodies demonstrable