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A solid phase and microtiter plate hemagglutination method for pretransfusion compatibility testing

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Most hospital blood transfusion services perform routine pretransfusion compatibility tests (ABO/D typings, antibody detection tests and crossmatches) using standard test tube methods. Recently, alternative technologies, including microtiter plate methods, solid phase red cell adherence (SPRCA) assays, gel tests, microbead columns and affinity column assays have become available. While the increased sensitivity of these new serological technologies is an important advantage, cost savings and automated testing are also important benefits. Our hospital's Transfusion Service converted from manual test tube methods for compatibility testing to manual microtiter plate and SPRCA methods and, subsequently, to automated microtiter plate and SPRCA methods. The conversion was facilitated by using commercially-marketed reagent kits and a fully-automated blood typing analyzer. The automated blood typing system was linked electronically to a hand-held combination bar code reader/portable data terminal that enabled positive identification of patients' bar code wrist bands, personal identification badges, and bar code labels on patients' blood samples and blood components. This bar code identification system has been implemented in the hospital's outpatient Infusion Service. Thus, the conversion to microtiter plate and SPRCA assays enhanced transfusion safety not only by increasing the sensitivity of serological testing, but also by standardizing compatibility testing, supporting electronic record keeping, and linking the laboratory analyzer to a bar code identification system.


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