Presented by Sandra Nance, Senior Director, IRL, Biomedical Services, American Red Cross
Provision of rare blood to meet transfusion needs of patients with complex clinical and laboratory presentations can require extreme personalized and precision approaches in the recruitment of rare donors. Since 1998, the American Rare Donor Program and its 85 domestic member facilities have provided rare blood products for specific patient needs. ARDP Members work tirelessly ensuring that rare donors identified through testing are tracked and registered with the American Rare Donor Program (ARDP). Each donation can be used as a liquid unit within dating period or can be frozen for future use (for at least 10 years). Notably, 60% of rare blood requests are met with liquid units.
The personalized matching includes donors who lack high prevalence antigens such as U or Yta and those that match patient types at the RHCE and RHD allele level, requiring highly precise molecular testing.
An extreme example of the need for a personalized approach to meet transfusion needs happened in 2016 and 2017 for two patients with anti-Vel (antibody to a high prevalence antigen occurring in less than 1 in 4000 people). During these two years, over 157 units of Vel negative blood were supplied by 33 ARDP member facilities. These units allowed the patients to receive chemotherapy, which would have been impossible without transfusion support. This program focuses on how ARDP meets the needs of patients in the USA for rare blood units, the personalized approach to donor recruitment and the precision matching that occurs.