Transfusion medicine is the branch of medicine that encompasses all aspects of the transfusion of blood and blood components including aspects related to hemovigilance. It includes issues of blood donation, immunohematology and other laboratory testing for transfusion-transmitted diseases, management and monitoring of clinical transfusion practices, patient blood management, therapeutic apheresis, stem cell collections, cellular therapy, and coagulation. Laboratory management and understanding of state and federal regulations related to blood products are also a large part of the field.
In most countries, Immunohematology and Transfusion Medicine specialists provide expert opinion on massive transfusions, difficult/incompatible transfusions and rational use of specialised blood product therapy like irradiated blood/ leukodepleted/washed blood products.
Clinical transfusion is becoming more evidence based. Transfusion audits and hemovigilance are taking center stage for optimum patient transfusion requirements. In India, a national program on recipient hemovigilance has been launched since December 2012, as a joint venture between the National Institute of Biologicals and Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
Each whole blood donation can be separated into its different components and be used to help up to four patients. The Component Laboratory prepares these different blood products as well as blood products vital for research.
Tissue Typing Laboratory
The Tissue Typing Laboratory performs HLA (human leukocyte antigen) typing for organ and bone marrow transplantation and to look for disease associations. Laboratory staff members also perform tests to help find the best platelet blood products for patients who do not respond to platelet transfusions and perform tests to identify antibodies to white blood cells and platelets that are involved in a number of diseases.
The Transfusion Laboratory is responsible for ensuring that the best and safest blood products are given to Mayo Clinic patients. Laboratory staff members perform the crossmatch testing to make certain that a patient is given compatible blood.
In addition, the Division of Transfusion Medicine is involved in the training of health care professionals through its work with medical technology students, pathology residents and Mayo Clinic blood banking and transfusion medicine fellowship.
Canine and Feline Blood Types
Erythrocytes possess characteristic cell-surface glycolipid or glycoprotein antigens. A blood group system is a group of antigens produced by allelic genes located at a single locus and inherited independently of any other genes. Blood group systems are species specific.
Animals commonly make antibodies against foreign blood group antigens. Naturally occurring alloantibodies may be a result of exposure to common environmental antigens that are similar or identical to foreign blood group antigens.
Transfusion Medicine is changing and so is the way we see and use blood components. As results from new basic discoveries become available, the field will need to adapt as they move from the bench to the clinical setting. Similarly, the field will need to work with clinicians as new evidence-based guidance becomes available in how to best provide transfusion support to specific patient populations.
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