Immunohematology Reference Laboratory

Laboratory 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 form antibodies against these antigens, which their body recognizes as foreign, when exposed to another person’s blood by transfusion or pregnancy. While some people may form only one antibody, others can have a combination of two 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 Lab (IRL) specializes in the identification and resolution of basic and complex patient red cell antibody problems and provides suitable units for transfusion. The IRL maintains a vast inventory of liquid and frozen antigen-negative red cell units to support the needs of patients who have developed antibodies to single, multiple, low or high prevalence antigens. The IRL is staffed with experienced Medical Technologists. These professionals are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays. Our hospital clients benefit from the expertise and vast experience of our professional laboratory staff and managers, including ASCP certified Specialists in Blood Banking (SBB).

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 30,000 donors tested for 17 different antigens, 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.

Test and Product Requisition Forms: