What is ?
The goal of the Precise Match Program is to ensure everyone in our diverse community has access to the most precisely matched blood products whenever patients might need them.
What is the difference between and simple blood types?
For blood transfusions, patients are matched with donor blood based on their major blood groups such as:
O+ O- A+ A- B+ B- AB+ AB-
(this is referred to as "ABO" and "Rh" blood type)
For an estimated 5% of patients, we need to find blood that is an even more specific match and lacks certain antigens that the patient has developed antibodies against. Providing incompatible blood for transfusions can cause life threatening reactions.
New York Blood Center tests for the absence of antigens, often referred to as screening or testing for rare blood. We need blood donations from more multi-cultural donors to maintain a diverse inventory of antigen negative blood.
What is an antigen?
An antigen is a type of protein on the outer surface of the red blood cell. When a patient receives a transfusion of blood carrying the same antigens as his or her own blood, the donor red cells are "welcomed" into the body because they do not recognize the transfused cells are foreign. 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 transfused with these antigens.
Why is my blood unique?
You inherited your unique blood type and its antigens just like you inherited your hair and eye color - from your parents. That's why it is sometimes very difficult to find a rare type needed for patients of our community's many different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
What does it mean to be a Code 96 or Code 99 donor?
Code 96 and Code 99 are terms that identify rare blood and are found in a small number of donors. Code 96 donors have a particular combination of antigens that make their red cells rare. Code 99 donors lack an antigen that almost all other people have, so their red cells are rare.
Who might need rare blood?
Patients who are transfused very often can easily form antibodies (immune responses) to some red cell antigens. Once antibodies from, these patients require very precisely matched transfusions to prevent transfusion reactions and production of more antibodies.
What are some of the conditions that require blood?
Please "check the box" for ethnicity!!
Make sure you "check the box" for ethnicity on the donor form each time you make a blood donation. It prompts the testing of blood samples and enables us to identify more precise matches. Certain blood types are more common in different ethnic groups, and so it is important for us to know your ethnicity. More donors from diverse ethnic backgrounds are needed to better serve all patients in our culturally diverse city.
For more information on please contact:
Nicole Brown at (212)570-3179 or NBrown@NYBloodCenter.org