Packed red blood cells can be infused into the peritoneal cavity of a fetus while in utero. These red cells are eventually absorbed into the fetal blood circulation. This procedure can be performed in conjunction with an intravascular transfusion into the umbilical vein.

Patient selection: The fetus should be sufficiently developed to allow placement of an intraperitoneal catheter without excessive risk.


volume of packed red blood cells to transfuse in mL =

= ((gestational age in weeks) - 20) * 10


The combination of intravascular and intraperitoneal transfusion permits a longer interval between transfusions and therefore the need for fewer transfusions during a pregnancy.

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