PreciseMatch® focuses on the blood needs of patients in our communities who require specific blood types for transfusions. The New York Blood Center needs blood from donors with diverse ethnic and ancestral backgrounds to serve our very diverse population and help us maintain an inventory of blood that can be more precisely matched to patients.
Why is PreciseMatch® vital to our community?
For most blood transfusions, patients are matched with donor blood based on their major blood groups such as O+ O- A+ A- B+ B- AB+ AB- (referred to as “ABO” and “Rh” blood type). However there are actually many subgroups or types that can become important for patients that are transfused on a regular basis.
An estimated 5% of patients require precise matching, including these subgroups, when receiving transfusions. For those who require regular blood transfusions throughout their lifetime, including patients with diseases such as Sickle Cell Anemia and Thalassemia (Cooley's Anemia), each transfusion increases the risk that they can develop antibodies and their body could reject future transfusions if not matched as closely to their own antigens as possible.
What is an antigen?
An antigen is a type of protein on the surface of a red blood cell. When a patient receives a blood transfusion with the same antigens as their own blood, the donor red cells are "welcomed." If the patient does not have the same antigens, they may develop antibodies to the antigens and their body may reject or react with future blood transfusions. PreciseMatch® conducts testing to identify 35 other antigens on red blood cells, this can then be used to match patients and blood donors.
How your blood donation can help.
We urgently need blood from donors of diverse ethnic backgrounds that will help people who require regular blood transfusions to live a healthy life.
Taking part is easy, when you register to give blood, be sure to check the box for Racial/Ethnic background, which will prompt New York Blood Center to test for those additional precise match blood types.