Anybody have good info. on Rhogam and the Rh factor? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-19-2003, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to educate myself on this issue and looked in the acrchives and did a search and came up empty handed.

If you have any good info/stories/links I would really appreciate it.

I read the other day somewhere that they use the blood of prison men to make the shot and that there are over 50 men's anitbodies in the mix. Is this true?

Even some general info would be great.

Thanks,
Caring Touch
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Old 09-19-2003, 04:12 PM
 
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I am Rh- and expecting my fourth. My first two were OB births and I didn't know better so I got the shot during pregnancy and both babies were negative so I never needed it in the first place With my last pregnancy I declined it during pregnancy because it has mercury in it and since I knew I didn't have positive antibodies I was fine with that. My third was Rh+ and I decided to get the shot a few days after her birth. This time I have declined it again during pregnancy but would get it again after birth. I have never heard the story about the male prisoners and find that one hard to believe : There is tons of information on the web about it. My MW provided information for me from March of Dimes that actually helped me decide against it.

Keri

 Keri wife and Mama to  Cory 17,  Brendan 15,  Kerianne 8,  Avery 7,  Lilia 3
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Old 09-19-2003, 04:59 PM
 
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My 4 year old son developed a blood condition and the doc told me the only safe solution was a Rhogam shot. Although they disguised it with a different name I can't remember what. However within 20 min of the shot he was comatose in ICU. They told us Rhogam is completely safe the worst reaction would be mild flu like symptoms. My son is fine now and in the care of a more completent physician. However it makes me wonder when it is administered during pregnancy if the fetus is allergic to it like my son was what kind of damage it can do because there is no way to determine if the fetus has allergies the mother does not. I also wonder how many women have reacted the same way as my son and how many it has killed. Had my son not been close to the hospital he would have died quickly thereafter.

Mom to 6 with #7 on the way Sept 2014
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Old 09-19-2003, 07:03 PM
 
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Here is some info on Rh factor...

http://www.thebirthsource.homestead.com/rh.html

Amy

Amy: Certified Professional Midwife and mom to Max (11) and Stella (6).
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Old 09-19-2003, 07:22 PM
 
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http://www.unhinderedliving.com/rhogam.html

One thing this article does not mention is the fact that if your partner is Rh- then there is definitely no need for Rhogam because the baby will be Rh- too. Blood incompatibility is not even an issue unless the mother is Rh- and the father is Rh+.

Another thing the article does not mention is that it is now possible to find Rhogam that does not have mercury in it.

I am Rh- and my partner is Rh+. My back-up (hospital-based) nurse-midwife wanted me to get a Rhogam shot as soon as she found out I was Rh-. They didn't even ask my partner's blood type. I refused. When my daughter was born gently at home, my Midwife tested the cord blood with an Eldon card (the site above sells them), and determined that my daughter is Rh-. So it turned out not even to be an issue. The hospital nurse-midwife would have exposed my unborn child to Rhogam completely unnecessarily.

I will refuse the shot next time, too. I'm pretty sure I will even refuse the shot after the birth if my child is Rh+. It will be another gentle homebirth with a Midwife, so the chances of the blood mixing will be slim.

Edited to add: I hadn't heard the thing about prison men, but it actually wouldn't surprise me.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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Old 09-19-2003, 07:38 PM
 
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i know ina may gaskin has a brief rundown on Rhogam in her latest book, ina may's guide to childbirth. you might check it out.

hth

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Old 09-19-2003, 11:22 PM
 
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I don't think they can make it from the blood of prison men - I believe they would need to use the blood of a woman who's developed antibodies....... - I'm not that clued up on blood and stuff..... but it wouls seem to be something like they make vaccines, by using the blood of people who've actually HAD the illness.......

Perhaps the male blood was used to make some other vaccine.

They do not make Rhogam with mercury anymore.

I'm RH - and my husband is RH + we've been lucky in that both my children are RH - as well.
We will have the baby's blood tested at birth, and I will get the shot if the baby is RH +.
I'm not plannin gon any more children, but if it does happen, I'd rather not miscarry because of antibodies I might have, no matter how slim the chance.
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Old 09-19-2003, 11:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chelly2003
I don't think they can make it from the blood of prison men - I believe they would need to use the blood of a woman who's developed antibodies....... - I'm not that clued up on blood and stuff..... but it wouls seem to be something like they make vaccines, by using the blood of people who've actually HAD the illness.......
They could do it by injecting Rh- men with Rh+ blood, which would cause them to develop antibodies.

Quote:
Originally posted by Chelly2003
They do not make Rhogam with mercury anymore.
Some of the old stuff might still be on the shelves, though.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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Old 09-20-2003, 12:56 AM
 
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Ok, last month I just did major research in this area b/c I'm dealing with this issue too!! OH so much fun...: The best thing I can tell you is *don't listen to the rumors*!! The thing about the prison guys... did you read that on a thread here, b/c I think I did too. Can't find ANY info to back that up.

Most of the sites listed here have slightly outdated info, esp. on the mercury issue. If you're opposed to the shot, it needs to be for a different reason, b/c that's not an issue any more--although you always should ask!

A good site for info is to search Midwifery Today for "rhogam" or related terms. I'll pm you with what I compiled from that reading.

The other place to look is the *package insert*. It has lots of good info about everything, so just ask your provider for the brand they use and look up the pamplet online. Mine is Bay-rho, and I can't find the link for it.

If you want to call Johnson&Johnson's rhogam support line to ask ALL your questions, here's the info (consider the source b/c it's the company's info, but it may help to hear how the plasma is donated, filtered, recent recalls and reasons, etc):

Blood Bank Reagents/RHOGAM Support
Our normal hours of operation are:
8:45am to 5:00pm EST, Monday through Friday
We provide emergency 24-hour assistance, 7 days a week.
In the United States please call: 1-800-421-3311
In Canada please call: 1-800-668-7299

The best thing I can tell you to do is just Google the night away! LOL Do your own research and plug in all the keywords that you're looking for rhogam and plasma donation.

Frankly, at the end of my endless hours of searching, I came to the conclusion that as vaxes go, this one is pretty darn safe. Now if I had done the same Google searches for DPT or MMR, the outcome would have been much different. It really is very hard to find negative info on rhogam.

The most telling thing I found was a legal group that files lawsuits against vaxines (you'll find it in any search you do). So I emailed them and asked what injuries they sue for. They are ALL for mercury! I asked him next if they ever sue for cases of blood-borne illnesses being tranferred from rhogam (uses plasma, a blood product) like Hep C that was mentioned in the package insert. He said he had "heard" of those cases but the chances of it happening now are really slim considering the ultra-filtering process that is used. I'm sure if there were cases of this happening, people would be suing and recalls would be happening.

In the end, I decided the "theoretical" risk for me getting a disease from the shot is so much less than the risk to my baby of getting injured from me not getting the vax. So I'll be getting a dose around 28 wks or so and another after the birth (85% chance!)

But it's a decision everyone has to make for themselves.

Emilyrosechild--mild, flu-like sypmtoms are NOT the only reations a person can have to the shot. The most severe would be anaphalactic shot, like what happens when you are severely allergic to bees and you get stug (do you see the commercials for epi-pens lately?). Do you think it was an allergic reaction? I hope you or your doctor reported it. If not, it may not be too late. Statute of limitation on reporting vaccine reaction/injury are pretty long, but I could be wrong!

And I haven't found any info to say that there can be bad reactions to babies in utero from the vax. It's not listed as a risk or warning anywhere, so I wonder if it's a valid argument. Just wondering myself--something more to explore, I guess! So sorry for that scary experience, though. I'm so glad you were able to get help quickly.
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Old 09-23-2003, 11:24 PM
 
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I believe the reaction was allergic however the doc called it an "adverse reaction". I was wondering if children react more than adults? Anyway I noticed no one talked about the action it has on the body and I do know that. I was always under the impression Rhogam targets specific things it does not. This is why they use it for ITP what my son has. His immune system was attacking his platlets and destroying them so he had no clotting system. It attaches to all the T cells? to disable them from attacking and creating antibodies. It is not selective it destroyes them all. It is in effect and powerful immune supressant that lasts for at least 3 months sometimes longer. This is why it is effective on ITP and also in not allowing sensitization on RH- women. I have doubts as to its safety in pregnancy however after birth I think it may be worth the risk. I am grateful it is not something I personally have to worry about. Good luck to all you ladies and happy pregnancies!

Emma Jean way to go on the research. I love to see women take their health into their own hands and make informed thought out decisions.

Mom to 6 with #7 on the way Sept 2014
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Old 09-24-2003, 12:07 PM
 
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I started a thread on this a while ago, it was titled rh- I think.

I got lots of good info, but no sources to back it up. I am not saying I don't believe the lovely ladies on here, but I have to have a good source to back things up to make my decision. The thing that was scaring me was that people were saying that the rhogam could pass to the baby I am currently carrying and harm them if I were to have an accident and blood were to pass prior to delivery. I asked my OB about it, and was told that that is not true, that there are no reported cases of that happening. :

I think it is always wise to make sure that the shot you are getting is new -so no mecury.

I did a lot of online research myslef, but couldn't find anything negative that was more than anecdotal, once you took the mercury out of the equation.

Good luck with your research, and post if you find any really compelling arguments against getting it during pregnancy, as I have no question about the after birth, if the child is +, I will get it, cause I'm a c-section mama, and blood will cross.

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 09-24-2003, 08:19 PM
 
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Heya,

I'm Rh- too. If you choose to get the shot, ask for one of these mercury-free brands:

Ortho Diagnostics
BayRho
WinRho

and check the wrapper for a date after April 16, 2001.
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Old 09-25-2003, 02:12 PM
 
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There was a really good discussion on this topic in the vaccinations forum a month or so ago. I think it was called rh- or rh factor. There was a lot of documented info, so that might be worth checking into.

I was asking my mom about this. She said that drs never used to give the rhogam shot during pregnancy. She said that they used to wait until the baby was born, test the cord blood, and then give the shot if the baby was rh+. Which is what I'd read in a couple of other places as well. It seems that drs were inclined to make a little more money, so they began to recommend the shot much earlier, and sometimes multiple shots (since it only lasts for about 3 months.). Very interesting, if it's true.
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Old 09-25-2003, 05:03 PM
 
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Thanks for letting us know about that thread. Rh issues are hard to search for on MDC, b/c the search engine here won't let you search for "rh-" or "rh". I'll go lurking for it....Thanks!!
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Old 09-25-2003, 07:18 PM
 
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I find it extremely unlikely for them to use prison men for the shot. It just is not logical if you think about it.

Have you ever tried to give blood at a donation center. They don't let you do it if you are male and have ever had sex with another male, if you are female and have ever had sex with a male that has sex with another male AND IF YOU HAVE SPENT MORE THAN 3 DAYS IN PRISON. Gee, now common sense would tell you that these prison men have been there for more than 3 days. And this is federal law.
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Old 09-26-2003, 01:11 AM
 
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Thanks for that bit of logic, irishprincess! The info I got about plasma donation is that they are very strict and heavily monitored by the FDA, or some other gov. entity. I think I need to go search for what thread that's on (the bit about prison guys donating) and splice in your bit of logic!
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