Hydrops Fetalis

“Hydrops fetalis is severe swelling (edema) in an unborn baby or a newborn baby. It is a life-threatening problem. There are 2 types: immune and nonimmune.

What Causes Hydrops Fetalis?

There are 2 types of hydrops fetalis. The type that a baby has will depend on the cause.

Immune hydrops

This type of hydrops is not very common. It may develop because of Rh disease in the mother. If you are Rh negative and have an Rh positive baby, your immune system attacks your unborn baby’s red blood cells. This causes anemia. Hydrops can occur if the developing baby’s organs can’t overcome the anemia. The heart starts to fail. Large amounts of fluid build up in the baby’s tissues and organs. This type of hydrops is not common today because Rh negative women are often treated with Rh immunoglobulin to prevent this problem.” Read More


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