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    Erythroblastosis fetalis can be predicted before birth by determining the mother's blood type. If she is Rh-negative, the father's blood is tested to determine whether he is Rh-positive. If the father is Rh-positive, the mother's blood will be checked for antibodies against the Rh factor. A test that demonstrates no antibodies is repeated at week 26 or 27 of the pregnancy. If antibodies are present, treatment is begun.

    In cases in which incompatibility is not identified before birth, the baby suffers recognizable characteristic symptoms such as anemia, hyperbilirubinemia, and hydrops fetalis. The blood incompatibility is uncovered through blood tests such as the Coombs test, which measures the level of maternal antibodies attached to the baby's red blood cells. Other blood tests reveal anemia, abnormal blood counts, and high levels of bilirubin.

    Source: The Gale Group. Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.";

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