Kleihauer Betke
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Test Information

The Kleihauer-Betke Blood Test is performed on the blood of a pregnant woman to determine, if there is a fetal blood transfer during pregnancy. This means that the test helps determine if blood from the developing fetus has entered her bloodstream, due to a fetal-maternal hemorrhage (FMH). A fetal-maternal hemorrhage occurs when trauma or a complication with pregnancy results in damage to the placenta, resulting in a significant transfer of blood from the fetus to the mother. The cause may also be unknown. Nearly all pregnancies involve transfer or a small amount of blood from the fetus to the mother. However, FMH involves a large transfer, which deprives the fetus of blood that can result in a fetal death or an anemic newborn. Roughly 50% of pregnant mothers possess red blood cells from their fetuses, but only 1% of pregnancies result in an anemic stillborn. The Kleihauer-Betke Blood Test detects fetal red blood cells in a pregnant woman or a woman who has recently delivered. It is performed as follows: Step 1: The mother

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