Blood group and antibody screen

Last updated: Monday, 06, August, 2007

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Item Process

Patient's identity must be positively confirmed at time of sample collection (that is, asking the patient to state surname, given names and date of birth and check ID labels are fastened to the patient's wrist). Surname, given names (in full), record number or date of birth and date and time of collection, and signature or initials of collector shall appear on the tube.

10 mL blood in plain tube; for some methods, blood in EDTA is preferred - consult pathologist.

Careful labelling of tube, with correct patient details (surname, given names in full, date of birth, identification number) and collection date is essential.


Patient’s serum is tested against red cells of known phenotype by at least two methods including the indirect antiglobulin technique.
See Indirect antiglobulin test.


Routinely performed with blood group prior to blood transfusion. The presence and nature of antibodies determines selection of donor blood for compatibility testing.

Component of routine antenatal screening, to predict and define possible haemolytic disease of the newborn.

Used in defining specificity of antibodies in immune haemolytic anaemia.


Alloantibodies may be detected in patients with a history of previous blood transfusion or pregnancy. They may, occasionally, be naturally occurring.


Guidelines for Pre-transfusion Testing. 4th ed. Australasian Society of Blood Transfusion 2002.