Red Cell Reference samples

Red cell serology services are only provided to UK Blood Centres and to bona-fide reference centres outside the UK. 


Centres wishing to refer for the first time must contact IBGRL to discuss the appropriateness of the proposed investigation.

Other types of referrals can be considered but please telephone to discuss the case before sending samples.

Type of Investigation
Type of Investigation
Description
Description
Samples required
Samples required
Notes
Notes
Investigation of antibody to a high-incidence antigen or a mixture of antibodies
Description
Patient (or donor) whose serum/plasma contains antibody(ies) to all or the majority of red cells (i.e. antibody to a high incidence antigen or a complex mixture of antibodies)
Samples required
10ml clotted blood PLUS 10ml anticoagulated blood
Notes
Includes confirmation of rarity previously determined by the referrer and determination of possible underlying specificities. Larger samples are preferable and sometimes may be essential. Anticoagulated samples should not be separated. Separation of clotted samples is optional.
Investigation of antibody to a low-incidence antigen
Description
Patient (or donor) whose serum/plasma contains antibody to a single example of donor cells or the baby’s/fathers cells in case of maternal antibody (i.e. antibody to a low incidence antigen).
Samples required
Minimum of 10ml clotted blood from the patient PLUS 10ml anticoagulated blood from the incompatible donor/father (less from a baby).
Notes
This type of investigation cannot be carried out unless the incompatible cells are received. The incompatibility should have a minimum 3+ reaction ( on a scale of 1+ to 5+).
Difficult or discrepant typing (any phenotype)
Description
Samples required
Minimum of 10ml anticoagulated sample.
Notes
ABO problems and partial D problems with anti-D cannot be investigated without either plasma or serum for antibody confirmation