How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr Jeff G Your Own Question
Dr Jeff G
Dr Jeff G, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 103
Experience:  Board-Certified Pediatrician with 4 years of general pediatrics practice and 3 great kids
Type Your Pediatrics Question Here...
Dr Jeff G is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is coombs positive? How does a baby get it?

Customer Question

What is coombs positive? How does a newborn get it & how is it cured?

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Dr Jeff G replied 8 years ago.

A positive Coombs test means that there is a difference between mom and baby's blood type (it can be the A, B, AB, O major "types", the Rh+ and Rh- "types", or any number of other lesser-known blood "types")

This means mom's body sees the baby's blood as foreign, and makes antibodies against it. Some of mom's blood and antibodies get into the baby's blood and attacks; it starts to break some of the baby's red blood cells. The can cause jaundice and anemia.

Time always cures this (it just takes time for mom's antibodies to leave the baby's blood) and you just need to watch baby closely for jaundice and anemia-usually with some blood tests. Both jaundice and anemia can be treated (jaundiced babies need ultraviolet light, and anemic babies need iron and rarely may need some blood).

Coombs positive testing is actually pretty common, and with some awareness, the complications can be found and taken care of very easily.

Thanks for the question, and I hope this helps!