antenatal screening programme
Blood group & RhD status and red cell alloantibodies
Haemolytic disease of the newborn, or rhesus disease, is a disease that affects babies. It occurs when antibodies in a mother's blood attack her baby's blood cells. It may cause jaundice, severe anaemia, heart failure and death.
Read more about rhesus disease on the NHS website.
UK NSC screening recommendation
Screening for blood group, RhD status and red cell alloantibodies is not currently recommended by the UK NSC. This is because:
- there have been no clinical trials to compare screening to current practice
- it is not known if the benefits of screening outweigh the harms
Although screening is not recommended, clinical practice guidelines are covered by NICE. All pregnant women should be offered blood tests as part of their antenatal care. Their blood group and RhD status will be tested for as part of this.
Supporting documents from the 2006 review
Evidence summary Blood group RhD status and red cell alloantibodies (2013)
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.
Date previous review completed: 2006
Next review estimated to be completed: 2021 to 2022.
To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.
Organisations interested in Blood group & RhD status and red cell alloantibodies
These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.
List of organisations
- Faculty of Public Health
- NHS Blood & Transplant
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Midwives
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
- Serious Hazards of Transfusion