Current UK NSC recommendations > Blood group & RhD status and red cell alloantibodies

The UK NSC recommendation on Blood group & RhD status and red cell alloantibodies screening in pregnancy

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended, clinical practice guidelines covered by NICE
Last review completed July 2006
Next review due in 2013/14
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Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

Screening for blood group, RhD status and red cell alloantibodies is not currently recommended by the UK NSC. This is because:

  • there have been no clinical trials to compare screening to current practice
  • it is not known if the benefits of screening outweigh the harms

All pregnant women should be offered blood tests as part of their antenatal care. Their blood group and RhD status will be tested for as part of this.

More about Blood group & RhD status and red cell alloantibodies

Haemolytic disease of the newborn, or rhesus disease, is a disease that affects babies. It occurs when antibodies in a mother's blood attack her baby's blood cells. It may cause jaundice, severe anaemia, heart failure and death.

» Read more about rhesus disease on NHS UK


Faculty of Public Health
NHS Blood & Transplant
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Midwives
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

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