PUBS/FITS for Fetal Anemia
Banner Maternal-Fetal Center at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix experts perform Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling and Fetal Intrauterine Transfusions (PUBS/FITS) to help developing babies with fetal anemia.
In many cases, an antibody carried in the mother's blood or a virus contracted by the mother is passed on to the developing fetus through their shared blood supply. These elements can then directly destroy the unborn child's blood cells, or attack its bone marrow preventing it from making normal blood cells.
Under those circumstances, FITS becomes the only means to keep the child alive until it is mature enough to survive outside the womb and receive transfusions in the nursery.
FITS uses real-time ultrasound to guide a delicately thin needle into the blood vessels of the umbilical cord or fetal liver. Once physicians reach the fetus’s blood vessels, specially prepared blood cells can be transfused directly into the baby.
This procedure can usually supply the developing baby with enough blood for two to three weeks. At that time, additional procedures or transfusions may be needed.