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EldonCard Failure??

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have just found out that my son's EldonCard testing was wrong at birth, my midwife tested him and it came out to be B negative, just like mine. WE just had him retested after I had a miscarrige and was found to be sensitized, he is B positive. I am looking for anyone else that might have had this happen to them or knows anyone this may have happened to. I trust my midwife, she has delivered over 800 babies without anything like this ever happening, she is adamant that she did not make the mistake. She thinks the card was bad and is trying to get in touch with both the healthcare company she bought them from and the Eldon company themselves. She will no longer be using the tests as well. If any mamas or midwives have ever heard of this I would really appreciate hearing from you.
post #2 of 17
I was always taught that Eldon cards were unreliable, so it has been my habit to use two and only trust the result if it is the same on both.

I do find them somewhat subjective to read -- you are looking at these little spots of blood and you try to see if they look grainy or not. I can imagine that it would be possible for there not to be enough of the test chemical on one of the circles.

I have never had a baby be tested wrong, but a mom who came to the practice I trained in was going through all of the hoops for rh- because her previous midwife had done an eldon card on her and found her to be rh-. Turns out she was rh+ so she didn't need any treatment.

Good luck.
post #3 of 17
I was always taught that Eldon cards were unreliable, so it has been my habit to use two and only trust the result if it is the same on both.

I'm sorry this is happening to you. {{{hugs}}}
post #4 of 17
I've worked with several different midwives who have also told me that EldonCards are not reliable. A few I've worked with send cord blood in to the lab and don't even bother with the EldonCards at all. One midwife I've worked with uses the EldonCard, and if it shows positive, then RhoGam is offered. However, if it shows negative, cord blood is sent to the lab for confirmation.

I'm so, so sorry you're going through this. Hugs, mama.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses, mamas. I guess the conclusion I have reached is that they are not reliable, I wish I had asked before or at least double checked our results.
post #6 of 17

EldonCards may not work as well on fetal blood

I, too, am so sorry to hear about what you went through.

In the hopes of helping others, I'd like to point out that EldonCards are marketed for "educational use"; specifically NOT to determine suitability for blood transfusions, etc.

That said, I realize many midwives use this product to determine whether a mother has rH negative blood and so is at risk for rH sensitization. When used properly, on an adult woman's blood, this is probably a reasonable approach. Should a woman test rH negative, she should receive Rhogam to prevent problems with future pregnancies. Most rH-positive women will test positive using Eldon cards. A very few will not -- they are considered "weakly positive" -- so any "iffy" Eldoncard test should probably be confirmed with a blood test at a doctor's office or hospital lab.

In your case, your midwife realized you are rH-negative. The problem may have arisen from your midwfe using EldonCards to determine your baby's blood type. Unfortunately, baby's red blood cells are fundamentally different from adult blood cells; we use these differences in tests like Kleihaurer-Betke to differentiate baby's red blood cells from mom's in mom's own veins.

To my knowledge, EldonCards have not been tested on, and are not FDA approved for, fetal blood type or rH determination. I work a great deal with "traditional birth attendants", who are midwives who learned their skills from their families or friends rather than becoming a certified nurse midwife or certified lay midwife. I ALWAYS stress the importance of providing Rhogam to rH-negative mothers without relying on EldonCards to type the blood of baby. If you want to avoid the expense (~$100) and hassle of Rhogam, you need to have baby's blood tested in a lab that can handle it. I offer to order these tests for local midwives (at no financial benefit to myself), or the local public health nurse can arrange it.

I wish you all the best in the future should you attempt future pregnancies, and I fervently hope no one else suffers as you have....
post #7 of 17
I do not believe they are reliable. As far as using a second card to double check, that would only make me feel better if both cards were from different batches. I might trust a positive result, but never a negative one (kind of like a home pregnancy test)- if the card reads that the Rh factor is there, it's there; if the card doesn't read it, is it because it's not there or because the card just isn't picking it up?
post #8 of 17
Hmm, so is the concensus that they're reliable for adults but not infants? We used them to test my husband's blood type (I"m rH neg) and he came up negative too, so we have been quite happily unconcerned. No bleeding with the pg, so no concerns that I've become sensitized (assuming the card was wrong), but should he have a lab test at some point before I deliver? OH, and we tested all four of us in the family, and both mine and my older sons' (17 & 18yo) came out correct for each of our blood types (all negative, me O, them B).

Tracey Mouse
post #9 of 17
I would not make major medical decisions based on the results of an Eldon card.
post #10 of 17
Originally Posted by nashvillemidwife View Post
I would not make major medical decisions based on the results of an Eldon card.
post #11 of 17
I've never used an Eldon card.

Are you hooked up with a local blood lab to do all the fancy antibody testing? It's possible to get antibodies showing up in your blood from the RhoGAM shot if you had the shot less than 12-14 weeks before the test.

As long as you have access to a blood lab (in legal states), it's easy to collect and send cord blood to the lab. It doesn't require poking the baby and the test is not very expensive. If the midwife can't order labs, the baby's pediatrician can order the test by simply filling out the lab slip. The slip and blood can be dropped at any nearby lab.
post #12 of 17
I don't think it works like that everywhere, even in legal states. That's certainly not how it's done here.
post #13 of 17
How does it work there?
post #14 of 17
The provider has to have a contract with the lab. You can't just fill out a slip and drop off a specimen at any nearby lab.
post #15 of 17
The pediatrician does, though. That's what I was reffering to - someone other than the midwife could, if he/she was nice enough, in advance of the birth, get the paperwork in order.
post #16 of 17
This winter I had some run-ins with Eldon cards giving completely wrong results or no results at all. They were all from the same batch and the results were so far off they would say the mother was like B- when she turned out to be O+. After that, I have decided to not make any sort of major decisions based on those things. So, I would say it is absolutely possible that your midwife did not make a mistake and that the card did not give her the true result. I am sorry this happened to you.
post #17 of 17
I too had an incorrect reading with my son, he came up as rH- but that's not possible after knowing both mine and DH's blood type (from donating blood).

I think of them as more for entertainment than anything diagnostic.
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