Matching transfusions for blood group K prevents problems during pregnancy

A relatively simple measure prevents serious illness in a small group of babies. Together with the transfusion laboratory of the UMCG, Sanquin has demonstrated that matching transfusions for blood group K in women helps prevent problems during a later pregnancy.

More extensive matching of blood has led to a halving of pregnancies in which women have antibodies to K that can harm their child. The antibodies can cause severe anemia in the unborn baby.

Jessie Luken, transfusion physician at Sanquin Diagnostics' Immunohematology department, analyzed data collected over a 20-year period for this study. The American journal Transfusion awarded her research with the RISE-award for the best article. The policy of giving matched blood for blood type K to women under the age of 45 is not yet widespread. This large-scale study could change that. The study was possible thanks to our large typed donor population, and because of our centralized research in pregnant women with antibodies to red blood cells in the Netherlands.

Congratulations to Jessie and all her colleagues who contributed!