Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center's Consultation and Reference Laboratory serves as a compatibility testing service, functioning like a hospital blood bank as it types and crossmatches units for patients. The lab provides suitable, safe and effective blood and blood components for transfusion to patients in more than 100 facilities.
Staffed with more than 30 technicians whose education levels range from an associate's degree to a bachelor's degree with several additional certifications, this laboratory performs and evaluates a wide variety of tests to resolve complex serological patient problems. Accredited by the AABB, the lab can perform testing for clients all over the United States.
The C&R Lab also performs antigen testing for The Blood Center's Rare Donor Program, which helps find matches for patients in need of blood donations from rare types. A rare donor is classified as an individual whose known proteins on a red cell test negative for four to six (or more) antigens.
Approximately 40 percent of the units sent out by our Rare Donor Program are for sickle cell patients, most staying within the Texas Medical Center. However, the program has made units from local donors available to patients in other parts of the world as well. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center's program is able to be fairly self-sufficient thanks to the diversity of our donors and the community we serve.
Even if there is not a patient currently in need of a particular donor's rare unit, the Rare Donor Program will freeze and store the unit for up to 10 years so it can be available when needed.