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Red blood cell compatibility testing (crossmatching)

Steven Kleinman, MD
Section Editor
Arthur J Silvergleid, MD
Deputy Editor
Jennifer S Tirnauer, MD


Compatibility testing is performed by the transfusion service in an effort to detect any serologic incompatibilities that might result in decreased survival of donor red cells in the transfused patient. The following tests are required [1,2]:

ABO confirmation and Rh determination of the recipient's red cells

ABO confirmation and Rh confirmation of the donor red cells if labeled as Rh negative

Antibody screen of the recipient's serum to detect clinically significant antibodies (ie, the indirect Coombs test)

Crossmatch of the recipient's serum with the donor red cells by a method that will detect ABO incompatibility and clinically significant antibodies


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Literature review current through: Dec 2014. | This topic last updated: Aug 26, 2013.
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