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Blood Group or Crossmatch requires a small tube of blood from a vein. It is of utmost importance that this specimen is labelled correctly, to ensure that the sample can be positively identified by the lab, and that the carefully matched donor blood is given to the right patient. The “Blood Bank” will reject incompletely labelled samples.
A Crossmatch may be requested when a blood transfusion is anticipated, under these circumstances:
Blood Group only, without crossmatch, may be done:
Blood Group is the characterisation of blood type by the ABO system (A, B, AB, or O), and also includes the Rhesus typing (positive or negative). Rhesus (Rh)-negative women are a special case in pregnancy; to avoid Rhesus iso-immunisation they may require treatment with anti-D immunoglobulin in a variety of circumstances. See Rhesus Antibodies test.
Crossmatching is the process of testing a patient’s blood against a potential donor sample, to find a match of compatibility. This usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes. If blood is urgently required for immediate transfusion, the laboratory may issue un-crossmatched, group-specific blood (eg A-positive blood for an A-positive recipient), or O-negative blood may be given, because this is the “universal donor” bloodgroup (although not entirely free of potential problems).
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