An evaluation of irregular antibody profile in voluntary blood donors and blood transfusion recipients

Chamma Gupta, Asitava Deb Roy, Nagendra Nath Bhuyan


Unexpected antibodies can develop in multiple transfused patients as well as in healthy donors who were either transfused or pregnant previously. This unexpected alloantibodies can complicate transfusion process, cross matching of blood and can occasionally cause severe transfusion reactions if a large amount of plasma or whole blood is transfused as in massive transfusion and in paediatric patients.

The purpose of this study was to screen and identify irregular/unexpected antibodies in voluntary blood donors and blood transfusion recipients in and around Gangtok and to provide compatible blood and prevent transfusion reactions due to such antibodies.

A prospective cross-sectional study was carried out in a total of 2415 samples from voluntary blood donors and transfusion recipients and tested for the screening and identification of unexpected antibodies for the period of 2 years from 1st September, 2014 to 31st August, 2016 in Blood Bank of Tertiary care hospital, Central Referral Hospital, Sikkim.

The positive screening rates for unexpected antibodies were found to be 1.48 per cent in donors (n=1999); and 3.03 per cent in blood transfusion recipients (n=416). Antibodies against the Kell system were the most frequent (Anti-Kpa- 32.1 per cent; Anti-K- 27.7 per cent), followed by antibodies against Lutherium system (Lua-22.73 per cent), against Rh system (Anti-Cw-22.73 per cent; Anti-E -18.18 per cent) and so on.

Since clinically significant antibodies are frequently detected in our donor as well as transfusion recipient samples, screening and identification of unexpected antibody is a must and the need of the hour. Knowledge of such alloantibodies is essential not only in the multitransfused patients but in all hospital patients who require or may require transfusion. This study not only helps in selecting appropriate RBC products for transfusion but also avoids unnecessary delays in provision of blood in case of emergencies or surgical complications.
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