1. Should everyone have an RBC antibody screen performed?
It is not necessary unless someone is pregnant or may need a transfusion. RBC antibodies do not otherwise affect the health of someone who has them. Sometimes a practitioner may test a woman after a pregnancy, especially if her baby had complications, to determine if there may be risks associated with a future pregnancy. Also, a physician may order a DAT and RBC antibody screen if hemolysis or anemia due to autoantibodies is suspected.
No. They may drop to low levels in the blood but once you have developed them, the cells that make them remain in your body and the antibody level may increase significantly again with repeated exposure to the same RBC antigen. You should always get blood that is negative for the corresponding antigens to clinically significant antibodies.
They do not affect the safety of the person donating and will not affect the processing of red blood cells for transfusion. If someone has potent RBC antibodies in their plasma, however, then that plasma may not be acceptable for all transfusions.
This article was last reviewed on March 22, 2013. | This article was last modified on June 4, 2014.
The review date indicates when the article was last reviewed from beginning to end to ensure that it reflects the most current science. A review may not require any modifications to the article, so the two dates may not always agree.
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