See under Rh factor.
noun, Physiology.
any of a type of specific antigen present on the surface of red blood cells, persons having inherited such antigens being designated Rh+ (Rh positive) and persons lacking them, a much smaller group, being designated Rh− (Rh negative) blood of Rh− persons is incompatible with Rh+ blood because of antibody reaction, and an Rh− woman who bears an Rh+ baby will have formed antibodies to the fetal blood that, unless removed from her bloodstream by apheresis in a subsequent pregnancy, will be carried across the placenta and destroy red blood cells of the next Rh+ fetus, resulting in erythroblastosis in the newborn.
an agglutinogen commonly found in human blood: it may cause a haemolytic reaction, esp during pregnancy or following transfusion of blood that does not contain this agglutinogen Full name rhesus factor See also Rh positive, Rh negative
blood that does not contain the Rh factor
a person having such blood

Rh-negative adj.
Lacking an Rh factor.

Rh factor n.
Any of several substances on the surface of red blood cells that induce a strong antigenic response in individuals lacking the substance.
Rh factor
Any of several antigens present on the surface of red blood cells in most humans. People with Rh factors are classified as having a blood type that is Rh positive, while people who lack the antigen are said to be Rh negative and can produce powerful antibodies that destroy red blood cells if given a blood transfusion from an Rh-positive donor. A woman who is Rh negative and is pregnant with an Rh-positive fetus can produce antibodies that are life threatening to the fetus. See Note at blood type.
Rh factor [(ahr-aych)]

Any of several substances found on the surface of red blood cells in persons.

Note: An Rh-negative woman who gives birth to an Rh-positive baby may develop antibodies to the Rh factor during her first pregnancy. These antibodies may cause a disorder in Rh-positive babies conceived afterward that could result in the death of the infant if the condition is not recognized and treated.


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