In mix-up, Jerusalem hospital gives rabies shots to 5 pregnant women

Hadassah Medical Center says none of the expectant mothers or their pregnancies were hurt from injections, calls them back for anti-D shots

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Portrait of a pregnant woman, on May 26, 2011. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)
Portrait of a pregnant woman, on May 26, 2011. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)

Five pregnant women were given rabies shots at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem instead of anti-D shots earlier this week, a medical publication reported.

The hospital has told the women that neither they nor their pregnancies will be hurt by the rabies shots.

Pregnant women with RhD negative blood are given anti-D immunoglobulin injections in case their babies are RhD positive.

The immunoglobin neutralizes any RhD positive antigens that may have entered the mother’s blood during pregnancy.

Without anti-D, the mother’s immune system will treat the baby’s blood as a foreign invader, producing antibodies to destroy blood cells from the baby and potentially leading to serious illness in the baby either in the womb or after birth.

Doctors Only, a publication for the Israeli healthcare community, quoted a Hadassah statement Tuesday that the women were alerted to the mistake and that they were called back for the anti-D shots.

“The hospital administration has undertaken a deep and comprehensive investigation after this event and has drawn lessons so that such an error will not happen again,” the statement continued.

The incident was also reported to the Health Ministry, the hospital said.

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