Pedrito Tagayuna, MD

National Blood Service Program Department of Health, Manila The Medical City

In vitro crossmatch is performed to determine the compatibility of donor red blood cells with the blood of the recipient. The fundamental purpose of this serologic test is to prevent potentially life-threatening acute hemolytic transfusion reaction. However, for some patients an in vitro crossmatch results to incompatibility and delay of transfusion. This problem is magnified when there isn't enough time either to determine with certainty the nature of the antibody involved or to screen a large number of units which at times are not even available. The dilemma of finding a compatible blood unit for transfusion often ends up with the head of the blood bank, the pathologist.  In situations like these, in vivo crossmatch may be considered as a last resort. Transfusion professionals have done this, but literatures about the practice are scarce.

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