"Bloodless" treatment of a Jehovah's Witness infant with ABO hemolytic disease

J Perinatol. Oct-Nov 1999;19(7):530-2. doi: 10.1038/sj.jp.7200223.


An ABO-incompatible term infant girl born to parents who are Jehovah's Witnesses was admitted to our neonatal unit with a high serum bilirubin level necessitating exchange transfusion. The parents signed a request that blood should not be administered under any circumstances. However, they authorized us to apply the possible alternative treatments of orally administered D-penicillamine (300 mg/kg per day divided in three doses for 3 days), phototherapy, intravenous fluids, and recombinant human erythropoietin (200 U/kg subcutaneously on every second day for 2 weeks). Herein, we report the outcome of this baby, who was discharged from the our unit in good condition after treatment. Her physical growth and motor milestones at 14 months of age revealed no red flags for neurodevelopmental maturation. To our knowledge, this is the first case of an infant who received such a combined alternative (and "bloodless") treatment of serious ABO hemolytic disease of the newborn.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System*
  • Christianity*
  • Erythroblastosis, Fetal / blood*
  • Erythroblastosis, Fetal / therapy*
  • Erythropoietin / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Penicillamine / therapeutic use
  • Phototherapy
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • ABO Blood-Group System
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Erythropoietin
  • Penicillamine