Transfusion Services

The Blood Bank Department at Providence Alaska Medical Center is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and the College of American Pathologists. The Blood Bank provides a broad range of immunohematology testing and blood components for transfusion.
 
PAMC’s blood supplier is the Blood Bank of Alaska, Inc., a local, community-based blood center affiliated with America’s Blood Centers (ABC). When complex antibody identification can not be performed in-house, serological specimens are referred to the Red Cell Reference Laboratory at Puget Sound Blood Center in Seattle and other selected reference laboratories, as indicated.
 
The medical director of the Blood Bank, a board-certified pathologist in anatomic/clinical pathology, is available for consultation by calling 212-5804.
 
The Blood Bank utilizes two primary methodologies for screens and antibody identification. The gel technology agglutination and tube agglutination. The specimen requirement for Blood Bank is a 6 mL pink EDTA tube.
 
Blood Bank Procedures
The following is an overview of the most common pre-transfusion procedures available from the Blood Bank Department.
 
Extra Tube for Blood Bank (ERTB)
Label this specimen with the Typenex band. A properly labeled specimen will be processed and held for 3 days. The specimen may be converted to a Type and Screen or Type and Crossmatch during the 3 days by calling the Blood Bank at 212-3026.
 
ERTB is recommended for patients undergoing major surgical procedures with less than 1% chance of requiring transfusion.
 
Type and Screen
Label this specimen with the Typenex band. A properly labeled specimen will be processed and ABO, Rh and antibody screen testing performed. The specimen may be converted to a Type and Crossmatch during the 3 days by calling the Blood Bank at 212-3026.
 
Type and Screen is recommended for patients undergoing major surgical procedures with 1-19% chance of requiring transfusion.
 
Type and Crossmatch
Label this specimen with the Typenex band. A properly labeled specimen will be processed and ABO, Rh and antibody screen testing performed.The requested number of red cell products will be crossmatched and available for transfusion. Patients with a negative antibody screen and no history of a positive antibody screen will be crossmatched using the Immediate Spin technique.
 
Type and Crossmatch is recommended for patients undergoing major surgical procedures with a 20% or greater chance of requiring transfusion.
 
Additional Units
A patient’s specimen can be used for crossmatch for up to 3 days after collection. If additional units are needed during this period of time, these may be requested by calling the Blood Bank Department at 212-3026.
 
Emergency Release
Clinical situations may occur in which the time required for crossmatch is too long for optimal care of the patient. In these situations, uncrossmatched blood may be requested for the initial transfusion.
 
O negative red cells will be issued as uncrossmatched. Type specific red cells will be issued after an ABO Rh type has been performed on a properly Typenex labeled specimen. The physician requesting uncrossmatched blood will be required to sign a Release for Uncrossmatched Blood after the crisis has passed.