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PreciseMatch® is NYBC’s program focused on meeting the blood needs of patients in our  communities and ensuring they have access to the most precisely matched blood products. Blood from more multicultural donors helps us maintain a diverse inventory of antigen negative blood. 

What's the difference between PreciseMatch® and simple blood types? 

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). 
An estimated 5% of patients, {e.g., those with Sickle Cell Anemia, Thalassemia (Cooley's Anemia) or Leukemia} need to find blood that is specifically matched and lacks certain antigens that the patient has developed antibodies against. Providing incompatible blood for transfusions can cause life-threatening reactions. We need blood donations from more multicultural donors to maintain a diverse inventory of antigen-negative blood.

What's an antigen?

An antigen is a type of protein on the surface of a 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." 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.

What are Code 96 and Code 99 blood donors?

You inherit your unique blood type and its antigens just like you inherited your hair and eye color—from your parents. NYBC tests for Code 96 and Code 99 to identify rare blood 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 also rare.

When you register to give blood, be sure to check the box for ethnicity! When you check the box, this prompts NYBC to test for rare blood. More donors from diverse ethnic backgrounds are needed to better serve all patients in our culturally diverse communities.