A List of Commonly Used Terms in Blood Banking

Tube Testing

The classic manner of performing blood bank testing, both for detection of antibodies and antigens on the red cells and in serum/plasma. Tube testing, as the name implies, involves mixing serum and red cells together in test tubes under various conditions. The classic “phases” of tube testing are the immediate spin phase, the 37C phase, and the AHG (or “IAT”) phase. Tube testing is being gradually replaced in routine pretransfusion testing by gel and solid-phase testing, as it is considered, in general, less sensitive (and more complicated for inexperienced laboratory staff) than the more modern types of testing. Tube testing still has a place in our world, however, as immunohematology reference laboratories still extensively utilize that methodology.

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