Our Services

Immunohematology Reference Laboratory (Red Cell Reference Laboratory)



Think that your blood type begins and ends with A, B, O and the Rh (D) factor? There are multiple combinations of proteins (antigens) found on the red blood cells that make each person unique.

Some people, not all, form antibodies against these certain proteins (antigens), which their body recognizes as foreign when exposed to another personís blood by transfusion or pregnancy. While some people may form only one antibody, others can have a combination of eight or more. They need to receive blood matched to their specific antibodies. The more antibodies a patient has, the more difficult it is to find appropriate blood for transfusion.

The Immunohematology Reference Laboratory specializes in the identification and resolution of transfusion compatibility problems caused by the presence of red cell antibodies. The staff, specially trained in advanced immunohematology techniques and procedures, provides around-the-clock service to our hospital clients who need to quickly resolve routine or complex serological investigations. Special red cell antigen-typed units are available for patients with transfusion needs.

Our red cell reference laboratory routinely screens our donors for a number of significant antigens, depending on the availability of typing reagents (rare antisera) and encourages them to donate as often as possible so the blood is available to help save lives. This enables us to maintain a database of donors with rare blood type combinations; an ideal source of rare blood cells to be frozen. With over 70,000 donors tested for 17 different blood types, the blood center has one of the largest registries of extensively typed blood donors in the nation and provides blood throughout the country when rare blood types or special combination types are needed.

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