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Reducing the Costs of Screening Blood for Unexpected Antibodies

Peter D. Issitt, FIMLS, FIBiol, MRCPath
JAMA. 1985;254(24):3423-3424. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360240035019.
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To the Editor.—  The recent report by Shulman et al1 describes a logical and practical way of reducing costs in the blood bank. There is an additional change that those workers could have made to reduce costs further that does not compromise patient care in any way. In the antibody screening tests and full compatibility tests using serum samples from immunized patients, 22% bovine albumin was added to the cell-serum mixtures before incubation and subsequent indirect antiglobulin tests (IATs). Bovine albumin does not increase the rate or amount of antibody uptake in the first stage of the hemagglutination reaction so that its use wastes money and provides no benefit in the tests described. I stopped using bovine albumin in such tests in 19732 and, in tests performed in the last 12 years, have not found any antibodies that could be detected in an albumin-to-IAT method that could not be


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