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Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


BRITEZ, C  and  SAMUDIO-D, GC. Costs occasioned by erythroblastosis fetalis (hemolytic disease of the newborn) due to Rh incompatibility compared to prophylaxis. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2007, vol.34, n.1, pp.15-23. ISSN 1683-9803.

Introduction: Perinatal erythroblastosis fetalis is a condition resulting from mother and child having incompatible blood types, which can cause a variety of clinical conditions. One feature of such incompatibility between mother and child is that the severity of the resulting condition is directly related to the type of incompatibility, with Rh incompatibility being the most serious. From an economic standpoint, it is less costly to prevent the condition than to treat it and face the costs in monetary terms, potential years of life lost, and the quality of life of children who live with its consequences or die from the disease. Objectives: Learn the prevalence of erythroblastosis fetalis (ER) caused by Rh incompatibility in the population of mothers who present at our hospital, and the costs it entails for patients. Learn the mortality rate among patients in order to arrive at an estimate of potential years of life lost. Materials and Methods: A retrospective cost-comparing study, covering the period from January 2002 to December 2004, of the use of medicament prophylaxis to prevent erythroblastosis fetalis due to Rh incompatibility in Rh-positive children versus the cost incurred when such prophylaxis is not used. Results: A total of 128 records of Rh-negative mothers of Rh-positive children were included from the period of January 2002 to December 2004. No statistically significant difference was found comparing data on length of hospital stay, incidence of premature birth, or days of phototherapy. However, upon comparing the abortion and mortality rates, it was found that abortions were twice as frequent in sensitized women, and that the mortality of children among such women was three times as high. The direct and indirect costs caused by the condition, as measured in terms of abortion and neonatal death, were greater among the sensitized population. The cost of prophylaxis is negligible in comparison to those factors.

Keywords : Erythroblastosis Fetal; Blood Group Incompatibility; Cost of Illness; Newborn.

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