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July 4, 1966

Intrauterine Transfusion—Headed For Change?

JAMA. 1966;197(1):A23-A24. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110010019005

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Intrauterine tranfusion, already obstetrics' newest and most daring procedure, is headed for "seemingly radical" changes to render it safer, a Detroit clinician believes.

Speaking before the section on obstetrics and gynecology, Bernard Mandelbaum, MD, said that:

  • Clinically, it now appears safe to allow a transfused fetus to progress practically to term delivery, and

  • Experimentally, a fiber optic amnioscope may allow direct visualization of the fetus with resulting changes in technique.

'Last Resort' Measure  From the beginning, intrauterine transfusion has been considered a "last resort" measure to maintain fetal viability until delivery can be induced (JAMAMedical News, 194:5 [Nov 1] 1965)."After two to three transfusions, the fetus often is no longer severely affected," said Dr. Mandelbaum. "Many of the transfused fetuses who appeared most severely ill by amniocentesis have proven Coombs' negative—Rh negative at birth." The infants' blood had been virtually replaced by donor red cells, continued Dr.

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