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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to track down some info on the reliability of Eldon Cards--anyone have anything to share? If you ever got a false result, I"d like to hear of it. If you believe that you've always gotten correct results but have no way to prove it, that won't be so helpful. However, if you DO have some kind of evidence about the EC's accuracy, I'd love to know it.

I know homebirth mws who use them exclusively to determine baby's blood type when Mom is rh- and Dad is rh+, and did use them myself a few times with clients. This occurs in situations where there is no med backup available, or sometimes just not chosen. However, I since heard some things by other mws to the effect that the Eldon Card cannot be relied upon--one even said 'should be used for entertainment purposes only'. The mws I know who do use them, would not have tended to have any opportunity to find out if the cards were ever wrong.

Seems that there would be a couple of ways to get a clue that an Eldon Card result was incorrect: later bloodtyping done through a lab, showing a different type than the EC did; a mom who gets no rhogam, believing from EC that her baby is rh-, but later discovers she's been isoimmunized (thus realizing her last baby really was rh+).

But you might never get those clues. Bloodtyping through a lab might never be done--at least not until the child is much older. And if a mom never does get isoimmunized through carrying rh+ babies--and most never do, with or without Rhogam--then of course there would be no reason to discover that the EC result was wrong.

Am I making sense here? I have just been googling, and have found numerous sites basically holding the Eldon Card as a perfectly acceptable, sufficiently reliable 'field test' for bloodtyping. I did see one comment by a mom who got a false EC result (it was a link to an MDC discussion, actually). I sure would like to have some further evidence on Eldon Cards.

thanks
 

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I have absolutely seen them come up with the wrong type. There was one woman who thought she had O blood, but couldn't remember if it was + or -. So, tested it and it came back as B+, since she thought she had O, we tested it again and it came back as something totally different.... I think A something. We then sent the blood in to the lab because the results were just not trustworthy at that point and it came back as O-.

I would be very leary about using them to type blood. I have done them on myself and had them come out with the correct blood type each time, so they can work, but I think I would only use them to confirm if someone thought they knew their blood type or was pretty certain about it. At this point, after seeing what happened before, I wouldn't want to use them for the only way to type blood or as a way to determine if Rhogam was needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow--thanks for that story. So much for the advice I've heard that it's best to use 2 cards each time--just to verify


And see, for me all it takes is a couple of those kind of stories to think they should not really be relied upon when something as important as potential isoimmunization is at stake.

anyone else?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
And see, for me all it takes is a couple of those kind of stories to think they should not really be relied upon when something as important as potential isoimmunization is at stake.

anyone else?
I've known a couple of people who have had lab errors for blood type done in a reputable lab as well.


I will be interested in watching this one as well. As an RH- mom having a homebirth there has been two times (out of three) that the lab's blood test results were not returned promptly. I received one unneeded rhogam shot because of it.
: So this time, especially with my birth looming around the holidays, I'm insisting on an Eldon card. Definitely want that in case the lab does not return prompt results!
 

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Phatchristy,
I don't know what state you are in, but if your midwife has lab access, you could also request that she drop of the blood sample to a hospital lab, as they will get the results back to you within hours, regardless of what time it is or what day it is. Even a holiday wouldn't affect it much. Our local lab can take up to 24 hours and then some for results, whereas the hospital lab is super fast! We always take baby's blood for rh typing to the hospital lab to get quick results.

MsBlack, I've never used eldon cards so I have no experience with their reliability. I wish midwives in all states could have local lab access. It sure would make things easier!
 

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have 2 cards on hand- I haven't seen a false result but I have seen some questionable results- where it wasn't mixed on the card right or it dried in a funky way so I wasn't so sure of results-- so having a second card on hand to redo I have found helpful-- if you only have a few clients with Rh- you could regularly use 2 cards just to be sure -- the local hospitals won't run blood for us and they are the only ones with ASAP results so it is the cards or inject everyone... or I guess you could get a microscope and supplies and type the blood yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for further comments. I had decided (after reading the same discussion that you linked, jenga, thanks) that I would no longer rely upon the Eldon Card for blood typing babies. But this came up in discussion the other day and it seemed a good idea to explore further.

One thing that caught my attention this time reading that older thread, is the idea that fetal blood is different than adult blood--presumably, different enough that this is the reason that the EC results may be far less reliable for neonates than adults. This is something I need to understand more fully--can anyone comment a bit more specifically on this? Direct me to further info about fetal blood? I will be looking in my Frye and also Varney to day, but if there is a book or websites that may help, please share...thanks.

In any event, I have really not found it that hard to find peds willing to sign lab orders for bloodtyping babies. Yes, it is true that even a lab could be wrong--there is always the possibility of error in all things. Just seems safer to me to rely on a lab rather than the EC--surely a greater margin of reliability.
 

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I think that you can order a blood typing kit that has bottles of antigen in it- the shelf life is suppose to be 1 year not in the fridge and 2 years if refriderated
the only difference I know of about neonatal blood is that it has bigger cells-

oh and I looked at the Eldon biologics site and downloaded a study/report they have - from their report the Rh typing may not be as accurate- they list problems with not waiting until the card is completely dry before assuming results as one of the problems...
 
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