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Apt-Downey test: Wikis


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The Apt-Downey test is used to help differentiate between maternal and baby blood.[1][2]

The blood is placed in a test tube; sterile water is added to hemolyze the RBCs, yielding free hemoglobin.

This solution then is mixed with 1% sodium hydroxide. If the solution turns yellow-brown, the hemoglobin is maternal or adult hemoglobin, which is less stable than fetal hemoglobin.

If the solution remains the same color, it is the more stable fetal hemoglobin; therefore, the newborn is the source of the bleeding. [3]


  1. ^ Moustafa MH, Taylor M, Fletcher L (August 2005). ""My two-week-old daughter is throwing up blood"". Acad Emerg Med 12 (8): 775–7. doi:10.1197/j.aem.2005.03.524. PMID 16079432.  
  2. ^ APT L, DOWNEY WS (July 1955). "Melena neonatorum: the swallowed blood syndrome; a simple test for the differentiation of adult and fetal hemoglobin in bloody stools". J. Pediatr. 47 (1): 6–12. PMID 14392548.  
  3. ^ "Pediatrics, Gastrointestinal Bleeding: Overview - eMedicine Emergency Medicine". Retrieved 2009-02-28.  


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