The Principles of Blood Group Serology (HLS051)

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The Principles of Blood Group Serology (HLS051)

Module Objective

By the end of the training period with respect to the principles of blood group serology, the trainee will be able to:

  • analyse, synthesise, critically evaluate and apply knowledge
  • perform a range of technical and clinical skills
  • demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for professional practice as a consultant clinical scientist dealing with the complexities, uncertainties and tensions of professional practice at this level

By the end of the training period the trainee will be able to demonstrate the ability to analyse, critically evaluate and synthesise relevant knowledge and its application to their professional practice in relation to:

  • serological techniques for red cell blood grouping: manual, automated and semi-automated
  • serological techniques for red cell antibody detection and identification
  • the relevance of antibody class, subclass and thermal amplitude
  • the mechanism of haemagglutination and factors affecting assay sensitivity and
  • factors affecting the sensitivity, specificity and error rate of the IAT
  • the DAT and its diagnostic applications and limitations
  • the selection of appropriate controls for serological tests
  • molecular genetic tests for low throughput and high throughput testing
  • the principles and application of flow cytometry for phenotyping and evaluation of feto- maternal haemorrhage
  • enhanced antibody detection and identification techniques
  • the use of antibody inhibition, adsorption and elution techniques
  • the specification and use of reagents for blood grouping and antibody identification
  • the key standards and guidelines relevant to transfusion laboratory testing

By the end of the training period the trainee will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of current relevant research, theory and knowledge of blood group serology and will:

  • critically appraise the scientific basis for blood group phenotyping and genotyping including the benefits and constraints of alternative technologies in different clinical settings
  • critically appraise the scientific basis for antibody detection and identification including the benefits and constraints of alternative technologies in different clinical settings
  • critically appraise and formulate plans to assess new platforms and/reagents for laboratory testing and where appropriate introduce and evaluate the new methodologies
  • distinguish the benefits and constraints of genotyping and phenotyping based on an understanding of inheritance and biosynthesis of ABO and Rh antigens

By the end of the training period with respect to blood group serology, trainees will perform a range of clinical skills and will be able to:

  • evaluate and appraise the diagnostic value of test results based on an understanding of the basis and limitations of different technologies in different clinical settings
  • formulate, propose and evaluate testing and patient investigation algorithms based on a critical assessment of the utility of different tests and technologies
  • recognise the relationship between blood groups and regular and irregular antibodies and
  • provide advice to colleagues and the multi-disciplinary team with respect to genotyping results including D variants, DAT-positive cases, and samples containing transfused red cells, matching patient and donor types for ‘bespoke’ transfusion