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Blood. 2009 Aug 20;114(8):1684-8. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-02-205047. Epub 2009 Jun 1.

Mislabeled units of umbilical cord blood detected by a quality assurance program at the transplantation center.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


We instituted procedures to check the identity of cord blood unit provided for transplantation by carrying out ABO and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing of the thawed units before transplantation. ABO typing is done using standard techniques. Rapid HLA class I serology is with monoclonal antibody trays (One Lambda Inc) using standard incubations. One mislabeled umbilical cord blood (UCB) unit was detected on the day of intended transplantation by repeat ABO typing of the thawed unit at our transplantation center. Because ABO typing will not detect all labeling errors, the rapid serologic class I HLA typing procedure was done on thawed units just before transplantation for all units without an attached segment. This procedure identified a second mislabeled unit. In a 6-year period, 2 of 871 (0.2%) cord blood units sent to us for transplantation were mislabeled and potentially would have been transplanted incorrectly. This error rate of 1 per 249 (0.4%) patients could have potentially devastating consequences.

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