Pretransfusion blood samples were routinely tested for ABO group, Rh type, and the presence of unexpected red blood cell antibodies. Patients who had unexpected red blood cell antibodies received transfusions of blood that was crossmatched using an immediate spin test, a 37 †C incubation step, and an indirect antiglobulin test. Patients who did not have unexpected red blood cell antibodies received transfusions with blood that was crossmatched by an immediate spin crossmatch only. Because the average immediate spin crossmatch required only 3.25 minutes to be performed, crossmatches were not done for patients without unexpected antibodies until blood was actually requested to be issued for transfusion. During the first 8 1/2 months this protocol was used, 27,742 crossmatches were performed and 46,959 unnecessary crossmatches were avoided, thus reducing direct costs by at least $49,300. This protocol also allowed for optimal blood inventory control and minimized the outdating of units of blood to only 0.19%.