Intrauterine transfusion is an essential treatment for severe fetal anemia. The procedure is performed between 18 and 35 weeks after fetal ultrasound is suggestive of fetal anemia or hydrops. In a sterile environment, fetal blood is obtained via percutaneous umbilical blood sampling. Transfusion is recommended for a fetal hematocrit less than 30 cc, which can be caused by a variety of conditions, including Rh isoimmunization, non-Rh alloimmunization, parvovirus B19 infection and chronic hemorrhage. Fetal survival after this procedure is over 90 percent.
This procedure is performed at Norton Hospital under the direction of W. Vance Cuthrell, M.D., medical director, Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Most patients undergo several transfusions during the pregnancy. Delivery occurs at Norton Hospital, and the babies are cared for by the team at Norton Children’s Hospital.
Refer a patient
You can make a referral through Epic, completing our online referral form, or by calling Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine – Downtown at (502) 629-7181 or Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine – St. Matthews at (502) 899-6900.