Background: We hypothesized that variability in practice exists for newborn immunohematology testing due to lack of consensus guidelines. We report the results of a survey assessing that variability at hospitals in the United States and Canada. Study Design and Methods: An AABB Pediatric Subsection working party developed and validated a survey of newborn immunohematology testing practice. The survey was sent electronically to transfusion service leadership at teaching institutions. Results: The response rate was 67% (61/91); 56 surveys meeting inclusion criteria were analyzed. Approximately 90% (50/56) were from birth hospitals and 16.1% (9/56) were from pediatric hospitals. Newborn immunohematology testing is ordered as a panel by 66.0% (33/50) of birth hospitals. ABO group and DAT is mandated before discharge in 14/56 (25.0%) and 13/56 (23.2%), respectively. About 76.8% (43/56) selectively perform a DAT according to blood blank or clinical parameters. The most common DAT practices include anti-IgG only testing by 73.2% (41/56) and use of umbilical cord specimen type by 67.9% (38/56). A positive DAT is a critical value for 26.8% (15/56) and followed with eluate testing when a maternal antibody screen is positive for 48.2% (27/56). In the setting of a non-ABO maternal red cell antibody, 55.4% (31/56), phenotype neonatal red cells when the DAT is positive. Group O RBC are transfused irrespective of the DAT result for 82.1%, (46/56). Conclusion: There is variability in newborn immunohematology testing and transfusion practice and potential overutilization of the DAT. Evidence-based consensus guidelines should be developed to standardize practice and to improve safety.
- direct antiglobulin test
- hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy