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April 25, 1977

Uncrossmatched Blood for Emergency Transfusion

Author Affiliations

Cedars-Sinai Medical Los Angeles

JAMA. 1977;237(17):1826-1827. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270440016009

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To the Editor.—  The suggestion is being made that patients in need of emergency transfusion where uncrossmatched blood is to be used should receive ABO group-specific blood in preference to group O "universal donor" blood. The stated advantage is that group O blood is not truly universal in that the plasma contains anti-A and anti-B antibodies. In addition, it is noted that the performance of ABO grouping requires very little time, and that the blood bank can provide ABO matched blood in only one or two minutes longer than it would take to provide group O blood.While it is true that group-specific blood might be of increased benefit in this situation, it is also very likely that the attempted provision of such group-specific blood might raise the likelihood of the transfusion of ABO-incompatible blood, with a resultant hemolytic transfusion reaction. Although ABO grouping takes very little time, the possibility