Transfusion Medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The Division of Transfusion Medicine is responsible the collection and testing of blood to be given to patients at Mayo Clinic (traditional "blood banking"). The division is also responsible for collecting and processing hematopoietic stem cells for blood and bone marrow transplantation as well as the testing necessary for organ transplantation. We also perform therapeutic apheresis procedures to treat patients with neurologic, kidney, and blood diseases.

Transfusion Medicine includes the following work units:

Autotransfusion
Autotransfusion is an operating room-based team dedicated to providing autologous blood products and point-of-care testing services to the surgical teams at Saint Marys and Methodist Hospitals. Autologous blood collection procedures include acute normovolemic hemodilution and perioperative blood salvage. Coagulation and hemoglobin testing are performed in the operating rooms in order to provide guidance of anticoagulation and transfusion therapies. Approximately 4,000 autologous blood procedures and 20,000 point-of-care tests are performed each year.

Component Laboratory
Each whole blood donation can be separated into its different components and so be used to help up to four patients! The Component Laboratory prepares these different blood products as well as blood products vital for research.

Donor Services
Donor Services collects the majority of the blood products needed by patients at Mayo Clinic. Donor Services personnel schedule appointments for donation, evaluate potential blood donors and collect their blood. See Blood Donor Program

Education Resource Team
The Education Resource Team provides oversight of educational initiatives supporting the development of medical professionals in the field of transfusion medicine.

Human Cellular Therapy (HCT) Laboratory
The HCT Laboratory processes hematopoietic stem cells collected from the blood and bone marrow so that it can be used to treat blood diseases and cancer. The HCT Laboratory is also involved in research to modify a patient's white blood cells to produce dendritic cells, which can be used to help activate the patient's immune system to fight cancers.

Immunohematology Reference Laboratory
Immunohematology Reference Laboratory helps patients who have formed an antibody against red blood cells due to previous red blood cell exposures like pregnancy or transfusion. The laboratory will identify which portion of the red blood cell the antibody recognizes. The identification will help select blood products for future transfusions to prevent the antibody from interacting with and possibly destroying the transfused blood. Multiple tests may be required to identify a red blood cell antibody. Some of the test names include antibody identification, antigen typing, direct antiglobulin, elution, and absorption. New technologies in immunohematology, such as genetic red blood cell typing, are also being investigated by the Reference Laboratory.

Quality Assurance
The Quality Unit watches over the safety, purity, potency and efficacy of the blood products collected and transfused at Mayo.

Therapeutic Apheresis Unit
The Therapeutic Apheresis Unit uses special machines to remove disease-causing substances and cells from the blood of patients. In addition, the unit also collects stem cells for blood and bone marrow transplantation.

Tissue Typing Laboratory
The Tissue Typing Laboratory performs HLA (human leukocyte antigen) typing for organ transplantation, bone marrow transplantation and to look for disease associations. They also perform tests to help find the best platelet blood products for patients who do not respond to platelet transfusions and perform tests to identify antibodies to white blood cells and platelets that are involved in a number of diseases.

Transfusion Laboratory
The Transfusion Laboratory is responsible for ensuring that the best and safest blood products are given to the patients of the Mayo Clinic. They perform the crossmatch testing to make certain that a patient is given compatible blood.

In addition, the Division of Transfusion Medicine is involved in the training of health-care professionals through our work with medical technology students, pathology residents, and our blood banking/transfusion medicine fellowship.

The laboratories of the Division of Transfusion Medicine are accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks, the College of American Pathologists, and the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics.