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To think it is not necessary to test my blood group in my 2nd pregnancy?

(50 Posts)
ikeaismylocal Wed 02-Apr-14 19:02:14

I gave birth to ds just over a year ago, I'm now pregnant with dc2.

I have really hard to access veins, I had a slightly traumatic time whilst giving birth when the midwives, drs and eventually a specially called in phlebotomist struggled for hours trying to get a cannula into my arm, there was blood everywhere, it was much more distressing than the actual birth.

I had my 1st appointment with my midwife yesterday, she looked at my veins and said she wouldn't be able to get any blood so told me to go to a place where they only take blood tests, she gave me all the papers with the blood tests needed.

The tests were:
the blood test for the neucle scan
Hep b/c
3x thyroid tests
german measels immunity
blood group

It was 6 viles of blood, the 1st person couldn't get any veins to word so someone more experienced had to come in, it was horrible, there was enough blood and I now have a very sore arm. I very nearly fainted.

I don't understand why I need to retake all the tests, the blood communicable deseases tests surely only show that I am not infectious right now but I still have another 6 months of pregnancy, I don't know why they can't take my tests from my 1st pregnancy.

The blood group is just stupid, how is there any chance that has changed!?

Another thing that is anoying me is that if I change my name before the birth I will need to get all the tests redone, we are getting married in the summer we were planning on having a double name, but I think I would rather wait than retake all the tests.

AIBU? (probably)

tiredandtiredandtired Wed 02-Apr-14 19:04:58

You don't need to have any tests. None are mandatory. You can refuse consent. You don't even have to see a midwife if you don't want too!

Lazybones12 Wed 02-Apr-14 19:05:34

I asked this question. Had m/c but had bloods done. Few months later on subsequent successful pregnancy the wanted to do again and I was like no pint only done few months ago. I was told ...... Wait for it.... By a lovely midwife.... There was no saying that father the same �� nice!!

stokiemum62 Wed 02-Apr-14 19:13:38

They are not looking for just your group but also an antibody screen. This is routinely done at the booking visit and again at 28 weeks. If you had a blood transfusion after your last delivery or even after a difficult delivery or a normal delivery for that matter, you may have developed an irregular antibody. If you have irregular antibodies the levels and your baby will need close monitoring as this can result in major problems.
The risk is very small the consequences very serious the choice entirely yours. If you are happy to accept the small risk on behalf of your baby don't have the test done.

cherrytree63 Wed 02-Apr-14 19:19:51

In the unfortunate event of you needing a transfqusion it is vital that you receive the correct blood type. They would take another cross match and compare it against your booking bloods. Records must be accurate and up to date.

meditrina Wed 02-Apr-14 19:21:10

You can decline bloods, just as you can decline any other test. But then you must accept anyrsks that arise from not knowing.

Most people would want to know if their rubella immunity had waned, or if their thyroid function had changed, or if they had acquired one of the tested-for diseases. But it's not compulsory to find out.

Soapysuds64 Wed 02-Apr-14 19:22:45

as stoke says, it is the antibody screen that is important. Rhesus antibodies are the main ones, and that is why Rh neg women are routinely given anti D after delivery. But there are plenty of others, and can cause very serious complications in pregnancy.

tiredandtiredandtired Wed 02-Apr-14 19:23:42

Your blood type can't change between pregnancies. And if you have an accident (when not pregnant) they just have to give you a transfusion of universal donor blood till you can be checked if the situation calls for it. So they don't NEED to know your blood group

Musicaltheatremum Wed 02-Apr-14 19:25:28

Believe me they don't do it for fun. Things change and if something did go wrong then they would look pretty stupid for not checking it.

Musicaltheatremum Wed 02-Apr-14 19:26:08

No tired but the antibody status can.

Sidge Wed 02-Apr-14 19:26:20

Changing your surname shouldn't mean getting the bloods redone.

crazykat Wed 02-Apr-14 19:29:11

It's to check the antigens. The German measles one is to check your immunity. I was immune when having DCs 1&2 but not when I had dc3 so needed a fourth MMR after delivery.

It's also possible that HIV / hep b or c can be contracted between pregnancies though obviously unlikely if you're with the same partner.

You don't have to have them done though if you really object.

bakingtins Wed 02-Apr-14 19:29:21

It drives me mad that they don't employ any common sense when requesting the tests.
I was tested for sickle cell and thalassemia again I am not and never have been in an at risk ethnic group and neither is the father.
But I wanted the blood count done and the antibodies because I have had a transfusion and am prone to anaemia, and I couldn't have some tests and not others...

If the thing about repeating them if you change your name is true that is beyond ridiculous! Surely your NHS patient no remains the same?

Jaeme Wed 02-Apr-14 19:29:33

It depends on the policies of your NHS trust, in ours women's tests from previous pregnancies can be accessed for 5 years so if you were within our trust it wouldn't need to be done again.

ikeaismylocal Wed 02-Apr-14 19:30:41

I had no idea the antibodies could change, thank you for educating me on that! My previous birth was pretty easy (apart from the lack of good veins) but I guess it is better to be safe rather than sorry.

In my last pregnancy I tried to decline a MRSA test, the reaso was that I had to put a swab into the back of my mouth and I was worried it would make me sick. The only reason they wanted me to do the MRSA test was because I am a dirty foreigner, I didn't think the test was neccessary. The midwife said that if I refused the test i would be treated as a contamination patient and it would all be very difficult for me, I'm not sure if it is true but I felt I had to take it.

I did take all the tests, I will bare in mine if I get pregnant again that it is optional to refuse, once I am in a medical enviroment I sort of forget that my body is still my body, I don't have to do what they say!

ikeaismylocal Wed 02-Apr-14 19:32:10

I should have mentioned I'm not in the UK.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 02-Apr-14 19:32:42

Yes, it is the antibody status that's the important one to test for - if you have the antibodies in your blood, it can cause real problems - I found this on a quick google:-

"Rhesus status only matters if you are an RhD-negative mum who is carrying an RhD-positive baby. Your child will have inherited this from her RhD-positive dad.

If some of your baby's blood enters your bloodstream, your immune system may react to the D antigen in your baby's blood. It will be treated as a foreign invader and your body will produce antibodies against it. This is known as a sensitising event.

Sensitising is not usually harmful if it is your first pregnancy. But it can cause problems if you become pregnant again with another RhD-positive baby. The antibodies that your body made in your first pregnancy can cross the placenta and attack the blood cells of your baby.

When your baby's blood cells are attacked, it can cause anaemia. If the anaemia becomes severe, it can lead to life-threatening problems for your baby, such as heart failure and fluid retention.

After she is born, your baby's liver won't be able to cope with the volume of blood cells that need breaking down. She may then become jaundiced, which is called haemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN), or haemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN).

In severe cases, HDFN can cause permanent brain damage and neurological problems in your baby, such as cerebral palsy, and physical or speech problems.

Rest assured that, because of routine injections of a substance called anti-D immunoglobulin (anti-D) to guard against the harmful effects of antibodies, HDFN is rare."

whomadeyougod Wed 02-Apr-14 19:33:03

they got my blood group wrong on the 1st baby , i wasnt given the anti d after , if they cant get a simple thing like that right you worry what else are they doing wrong.

ikeaismylocal Wed 02-Apr-14 19:36:18

I am a little confused, can my blood change from O+ to O-? Or is it just that if my blood was O- they should test for the antibodies in a 2nd pregnancy?

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 02-Apr-14 19:41:01

The latter. If you are Rhesus negative, and your first baby is Rhesus positive, and if some of your baby's blood enters your bloodstream, your immune system may react to the D antigen in your baby's blood. It will be treated as a foreign invader and your body will produce antibodies against it. This is known as a sensitising event.

This can be a problem if your second baby is also Rhesus positive and the antibodies you've made get into the baby's blood stream, but if they know you have the antibodies, there's an easy treatment - the routine injections of the anti-D immunoglobulin.

meditrina Wed 02-Apr-14 19:45:17

Some hospitals swab everyone pre-admission for MRSA.

It's nothing to do with nationality, ethnicity, or place of habitual residence. And everything to do with infection control in hospitals. It's particularly important for maternity admissions (because of vulnerability of new borns) but normally done, in those hospitals that test, for every planned admissions.

AnyoneforTurps Wed 02-Apr-14 19:45:33

It's not just rhesus or blood groups - there are a host of blood factors & antibodies that can change over time. Blood has to be matched carefully to avoid transfusion reactions which can be fatal.

Unmatched O negative blood can be given in an emergency but it is not anywhere near as safe as properly matched blood and, as it is always in short supply, there is also a risk that there might not be enough available when you needed it - a good-going obstetric haemorrhage can require 12 or more units of blood.

YANBU to ask whether you need the tests - you should always ask why tests are being done - it's your body smile. But the mw is definitely NBU to want to do the tests again.

candycrushhater Wed 02-Apr-14 19:50:20

I am Rhesus negative and DC1 was positive. When pregnant with DC2 it was noticed after taking second lot of bloods that I had started developing antibodies. In my case I had both anti-c and anti-d. I was not given the anti-d immunisation as it was determined not to be worth while because of the other antibodies I had. The levels of antibodies in my blood were very closely monitored for the duration of my pregnancy with lots of blood tests. When DC2 was born he was quite poorly, but the drs were expecting it, he was treated and made a full recovery in a few weeks.
I really feel for you as giving blood for tests sounds pretty horrific, but it is absolutely worth it.

ikeaismylocal Wed 02-Apr-14 19:58:45

It's nothing to do with nationality, ethnicity, or place of habitual residence. And everything to do with infection control in hospitals. It's particularly important for maternity admissions (because of vulnerability of new borns) but normally done, in those hospitals that test, for every planned admissions.

It was because I had been in a foreign dr's surgery. I am English but I live in Sweden, I had been to the Dr with dp as he has tonsilitis when we were visiting my family and that was enough for them to want to test me for MRSA, they don't test people unless they have been in a dr's surgery or hospital in a different country, it doesn't matter that I wasn't a patient, purely walking in the door made me high risk.

I pointed out that my dp had had MRSA (picked up in a Swedish hospital) so why would visiting an English Dr's surgery be more dangerous than being treated in a Swedish hospital. They had no answer.

Soapysuds64 Wed 02-Apr-14 20:00:08

No, your blood group doesn't change.

Your blood cells have antigens on them, but you can form antibodies during delivery or if you have a bleed during pregnancy, as the baby's blood mixes with the mother's. The most common antibody is rhesus D, but there are also rhesus C, c, E, e, Kell, JKa, Jkb, Fya, Fyb..... the list goes on, and this is why rhesus positive as well as rhesus negative women are tested (although rhesus negative women are tested more, because anti rhesus D is by far the most common).

Transfusion labs up and down the country group and screen a lot of antenatal samples everyday - most are ok, but sometimes antibodies are found, which are investigated further and pregnancies monitored more closely. The antibodies (not the blood cells) pass through the placenta into the baby, and can attack the baby's blood. Babies with HDN (i.e. mothers having high levels of rhesus antibodies) are given exchange transfusions shortly after birth, where all the baby's blood (with mothers antibodies) is replaced, and possibly intra-uterine transfusions.

If you need a caesarian, you are likely to have another blood group and screen in case you need a transfusion.

Whomadeyougod - are you sure they grouped you incorrectly, or did you just not get anti-D?

Don't know if that makes it clearer... might make it my specialist subject in Mastermind (and also looking for a job back in Transfusion just now....)

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