What the hell was wrong with me?

I should stress that this is not a medical advice thread per se. Just I’m curious about something.

Apparently when I was born I had ‘too many red blood cells’ and I required a blood transfusion. This is my mother’s explanation for what happened but I’m not entirely convinced she knew what was going on because she’s not the best at medical knowledge and as I was a caesarean birth she was kinda woozy during the immediate aftermath.

Anyways, in a fit of something or other i decided to try to find out what problems I had had at birth that my blood needed ‘changing’ (that’s how mum termed it). I’ve googled and googled and can’t for the life of me work out what the deal was. I should point out that it’s only my mum telling me about this - I’ve never had any continuing medical problems so whatever it was, it was a one-off kinda thing.

So any ideas? What was up when I was born?

(Yeah yeah, I know. I could go and order a copy of my medical records but I’m really not that fussed. Just a little curious)

Sure it wasn’t the very common infant jaundice?

My best guess: polycythemia.

I don’t think jaundice. My brother had jaundice and I can recall my mother talking about it and the specific treatments. She was very definite about what it was so I can’t see her being all vague a couple of years later when I was born.

I am also hesitant about polycythemia. I had considered that one but so far as I can see this is not a condition which can be completely cured (according to wikipedia anyway) and this really was a one-shot deal. Blood transfusion at birth, nothing thereafter.

My guess is Rh factor incompatability.


Oh that sounds more likely! Gotta phone mum now and find out what her Rh type is.

Thanks all who contributed. :slight_smile:

Do you have older siblings? Do you know your blood type? If your are Rh pos and your mom is Rh neg, AND you have older sibs AND your mom wasn’t given Rhogam. It’s possible. Rhogam has been routinely given to Rh neg moms since 1968, so if you were born before that, it’s likely.
However, there are a number of conditions of the newborn that might require exchange transfusion.

This is only a partial list. These are the most common.

If you know the hospital where you were born/treated, you may be able to request your medical record from that time. Start by writing to the hospital records department. It may take some time and perseverance, since the records will be in storage, probably off site.

Thanks picunurse.

I’m in the UK so my records are freely available. I just can’t be bothered obtaining them to find out. It’s not really a big deal, just struck me as curious that I would have something like that happen and then nobody particularly knew what it was or thought it was a big deal.

I know i’m Rh+ and I have one older brother. I’m gonna check with mum to see whether she is Rh-. It’s possible that Rhogam was only given to neg mothers in your country so that might explain why I received the blood when i was born much later than 1968.

thanks :slight_smile:

zelie zelerton- we give the same stuff as Rhogam, but it’s not called that in the UK and Ireland. Your mum would have been given Anti-D if she was Rh negative and wouldn’t know it as the trade name Rhogam.

ALL pregnant women in the UK are screened, and as you mum had a c-section, she would have had her blood typed and cross-matched for the surgery, even in the extremely unlikely event she wasn’t typed before that. If she was negative, she’d have been given Anti-D.

Nowadays, because of the widespread use of Anti-D, that particular kind of incompatability is becoming rarer, other types of sensitisation other than Rhesus have gained more importance, like Kell, Kidd, MNS or Duffy. Although non-D Rhesus incompatability is still the most common cause, the others are slowly making up a higher percentage of Haemolytic Disease of the Newborn (HMD).

So, just because you mum mightn’t be Rhesus negative, it’s not safe to assume you couldn’t have had HMD- it could have been caused by a rarer antigen.

This site explain some more, but it’s quite technical.

You don’t have a twin, do you zelie?

You are an alien.

They swapped your alien blood for human so you could live in our environment.

It is rare but more common than you people think.

Heh - i’m liking **Zebra’s ** answer.

And no, I’m not a twin.

I know it’s used in the UK now. I believe it’s use in the UK was started shortly after it was in the US. It may not have been required everywhere.
And, you’re very welcome. :slight_smile: