Erythrocytes from blood donors and patients express many different antigens (blood groups). If antibodies against these antigens are present, the donor blood must be compatible with the patient otherwise the patient could suffer from transfusion reactions.
For patients with the most common blood groups a rapid and efficient supply of compatible erythrocyte concentrates is taken for granted.
There is however a special category of patients who possess antibodies against rare blood group antigens. The opportune supply of blood products to treat these patients often requires extensive measures, such as, the mobilisation of blood donors on a national and often an international scale.
Examples of such blood groups are the absence of high frequency antigens such as, k, Kp(b), Lu(b), Co(a), Vel, Yt(a), P, Lan or U, or the presence of a rare phenotype such a Ko, Lu(a-b-), Jk(a-b-)and Rh null.
For this reason several years ago we set up a database of blood donors with rare blood groups. Since 2005 the Interregional Blood Transfusion Service SRC Ltd. runs this database on behalf of the Swiss Blood Transfusion Service SRC. All Swiss regional blood transfusion services participate in the database by registering, on a 3x per year basis, all blood donors with rare blood groups from their region.
At the same time a coordinated effort and collaboration particularly with other German speaking countries but also with other international partners was set up with the aim to increase, in a cost efficient manner, the supply of suitable blood products for these patients.
In collaboration with the DGTI-working party «rare blood groups» the structure of this database has been updated and elaborated.
By donor numbers with * only one PCR determination is available.