Immunohematology is the study of the immunology and genetics of blood cell antigens, blood groups and specific blood proteins(such as complement) and antibodies esp. important in blood banking and transfusion medicine.
Immunohematology is more commonly known as "blood banking" or “blood biology”.
This is the field of laboratory medicine dealing with preparing blood components and blood for transfusion as well a the selection of compatible and appropriate components for transfusion. Individuals may become immunized to red blood cells due to previous exposure to red blood cells(RBCs) of other people, most commonly through transfusion or pregnancy. Our children basically receive immunizations which leads to form antibodies against the immunizing material, such as tetanus. If they are again exposed to the organism which causes tetanus, the antibodies will destroy them before they can cause infection. In a similar way, red blood cells have specific structures on their surface called antigens. If an individual is pregnant with a fetus or transfused with blood 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(RBCs) which possess the antigen if additional sessions of transfusions are needed. That 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, occurring in approximately 0.1-3% of the general population.

  • Blood collection and processing
  • Automated blood collection of blood products
  • Blood components: preparation, storage, and transport
  • Red cell antibody detection and identification
  • Molecular testing for blood groups in transfusion medicine
  • Pretransfusion testing
  • The ABO & Rh blood group system
  • Other blood group systems
  • Human leukocyte antigens
  • Transfusion therapy and the role of the medical director in blood banking
  • Adverse effects of transfusion Transfusion-transmitted diseases
  • Hemolytic disease of the newborn
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia and drug-induced hemolytic anemia
  • Quality assurance and safety in immunohematology

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