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Immunohematology Home


Immunohematology is more commonly known as "blood banking". This is the area of laboratory medicine dealing with preparing blood and blood components for transfusion as well as selection of appropriate, compatible components for transfusion. Individuals may become immunized to red blood cells due to previous exposure to red blood cells of other people, most commonly through transfusion or pregnancy. Our children receive immunizations which cause them to form antibodies against the immunizing material, such as tetanus. If they are then exposed to the organism which causes tetanus, the antibodies will destroy them before they can cause infection. In the same way, red blood cells have structures on their surface called antigens. If an individual is transfused with blood or is pregnant with a fetus that possesses structures which the recipient or mother does not have, this may induce the individual to form antibodies. These antibodies may then destroy red blood cells which possess the antigen if additional transfusions are needed. This is why all blood banks will "screen" potential blood recipients for unexpected antibodies and they will then select blood which lacks the offending antigen. The formation of these antibodies is an unusual occurrence, occuring in approximately 0.1-3% of the general population.


Blood Bank and Government Organizations

Cord Blood Transplants and Collection Programs

Stem Cells

Donors and Blood Components

Pretransfusion Testing

Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn

Transfusion Related Articles

Other Blood Group Systems

Rh Sensitization

Miscellaneous Sites of Interest


Investigation of the Positive DAT

Blood Centers

Serious Hazards of Transfusion


Artificial Blood

Updated: January 31, 2011

Web Author: Terry Kotrla MT(ASCP)BB
Copyright 2000 by Terry Kotrla - All Rights Reserved