The utility of ‘home-made’ reagent red blood cells for antibody screening during pre-transfusion compatibility testing in Uganda
Background: The WHO recommends that pre-transfusion testing should include ABO/RhD grouping followed by screen- ing for red blood cell (RBC) alloantibodies using the indirect antiglobulin test (IAT). However, in Uganda, current practice does not include RBC alloantibody screening.
Objective: To assess the utility of ‘home-made’ reagent RBCs in alloantibody screening.
Materials and methods: In a laboratory-based study, group O RhD positive volunteer donors were recruited and their extended phenotype performed for C, c, E, e, K, Fya, Fyb Jkb, S and s antigens. These ‘home-made’ reagent RBCs were preserved using Alsever’s solution and alloantibody detection tests performed. For quality assurance, repeat alloantibody screening of patients’ samples was done at Bloodworks Northwest Laboratory in Seattle, United States.
Results: A total of 36 group O RhD positive individuals were recruited as reagent RBC donors (median age, 25 years; range, 21 – 58 years; male-to-female ratio, 1.6:1). Out of the 311 IATs performed, 32 (10.3%) were positive. Confirmatory IAT testing in the United States was in agreement with the findings in Uganda.
Conclusion: Use of ‘home-made’ reagent RBCs during pre-transfusion testing in Uganda is feasible. We recommend the introduction of pre-transfusion IAT alloantibody screening in Uganda using ‘home-made’ reagent RBCs to improve trans- fusion safety.
Keywords: Blood transfusion; ‘Home-made’ reagent RBCs; Pre-transfusion testing; RBC alloantibody screening; Uganda.
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