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Determination of the Rh/Kell phenotypes in donor as well as patients might be significant to provide phenotype-matched blood to cancer patients: A retrospective analysis from a tertiary care oncology center in North India.

BACKGROUND: Multiple reports are available from different parts of the globe indicating the incidences of alloimmunization and blood transfusion-related reactions, which emphasizes the need for phenotyping and providing antigen-matched safe blood.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This study aims to determine the frequency of Rh and Kell antigens and phenotype for both donors and patients to propose the importance of providing Rh Kell phenotype cross-matched packed red blood cell (RBC) units to minimize the alloimmunization and transfusion reactions.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten thousand blood donors and four thousand patients were investigated between October 2017 and July 2019. Each donor unit was tested for blood grouping, antibody screening, and Rh Kell antigen Phenotyping, and the blood unit was issued after the patient's blood grouping, antibody screening by 3 cell panels, and Rh Kell antigen phenotyping followed by cross-matching with an Rh Kell-matched phenotype RBC unit.

RESULTS: Nine thousand four hundred and fifty-two donors were D positive (94.5%) while 548 tested D negative (5.5%). Overall Rh and K antigens frequencies in donors were: "e" (98%) >"D" (94.5%) >"C" (86.6%) > "c" (57.5%) >"E" (18.8%) >K (0.98%). Among patients, 3762 tested D positive (94.05%), and 238 tested D negative (5.95%). Overall Rh and K antigens frequencies in patients were: "e" (98.5%) >"D" (94.05%) >"C" (90.2%) >"c" (51%) >"E" (18.2%) >K (1.8%).

CONCLUSION: Our study has given us more clarity on the prevalence of major Rh and K antigens in our donor as well as patient populations, highlighting the similarities as well as differences. This variance holds a great significance, since such donor units when transfused into patients may lead to alloimmunization and adverse transfusion reactions. Hence, the determination of Rh and Kell phenotypes and providing phenotype-matched blood will help prevent such events.

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