Transfusion Medicine Services

NYBC’s dedicated professionals provide a wide range of consultative services in hospitals and through special products and services to patients with bleeding disorders.

Since 1964, New York Blood Center (NYBC) has been a health care resource, and our diverse team of medical professionals can provide consultation in technical, medical, and research arenas for the patients and communities we serve.

  • Selection of blood components and derivatives for patients with complex transfusion needs
  • Supportive therapy of patients with chronic transfusion requirements, including malignancies and sickle cell disease
  • Management of autologous blood donors
  • Supportive care of patients with bleeding disorders
  • Management of adverse reactions to blood transfusions
  • Supervision of cross-matching and transfusion of blood components
  • Application of blood conservation techniques
  • Supervision of therapeutic apheresis and phlebotomy procedures
  • Donor care and management of donor reactions
  • Analysis of complex immunohematologic issues, including provision of “rare” blood when necessary
  • Oversight of peripheral blood stem cell collections
  • Selection of cord blood units for transplantation
  • Hemophilia Services

NYBC has been providing transfusion service management for more than 30 years. Rapid changes in technology and transfusion medicine have made NYBC’s transfusion management expertise desirable for hospitals. The benefits our services provide to hospitals include:

  • Cost savings based on NYBC’s economies of scale
  • Access to state-of-the-art technology and information systems
  • Access to transfusion medicine expertise
  • Access to appropriate inventory management
  • Access to a blood management program

Regulatory oversight provided by NYBC’s Quality Assurance Department and Regulatory Affairs Department

Though not all transfusion-related adverse events need to be reported to NYBC, NYBC will investigate all reported post-transfusion adverse events and communicate the results to the hospital. Our transfusion medicine specialists are available 24/7 to discuss any post-transfusion complications at 212.699.5233.

Please fill out our Suspected Transfusion Reaction Adverse Event Report form and send to Special Donor Services at [email protected] or fax to 212.288.8464.


Septic Reactions: Bacterial contamination of blood products may result in bacterial infection of the recipient, resulting in fever and other signs of sepsis. Platelet products have the highest risk of bacterial contamination followed by red blood cell products. Upon reporting a septic reaction or potentially bacterially contaminated product, NYBC will recall all other products from that donation. To mitigate these reactions, NYBC disinfects donor’s arms, diverts the initially 30-50 ml of drawn blood, and cultures all platelet products.

Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury: Transfusion-related acute lung injury is most commonly due to donor antibodies to white blood cells antigens (HLA and HNA) resulting in shortness of breath, fever, and hypotension. Upon reporting a case to NYBC, we will evaluate donors for white blood cell antibodies. We can also provide molecular testing of the recipient’s white blood cell antigens to see if they match. To mitigate these reactions, NYBC’s plasma and apheresis platelet products are predominately from low-risk donors (males, never-pregnant females, or HLA antibody negative previously pregnant females).

Transfusion Transmitted Diseases: Transfusion transmitted diseases include HIV, hepatitis B and C viruses, Human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV-I/II), cytomegalovirus, West Nile virus, syphilis, babesiosis, and Chagas’ disease, among others. The blood supply is the safest it has ever been due to testing of donors for a variety of infections and taking donor histories to ensure the people who donate are well. Upon receipt of a potential infectious transmission from donor to recipient, NYBC will defer the donor and test the donor for the suspected infection. To mitigate transfusion transmitted diseases, NYBC tests donors for HIV, hepatitis B and C viruses, HTLV-I/II, syphilis agent, Chagas’ disease agent, West Nile virus, babesia microti and Zika virus. Additionally, NYBC leukoreduces all blood components.


Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions are due to recipient antibodies to donor plasma proteins. Allergic reactions can result in a broad spectrum of severity from focal mild urticarial to systemic, life-threatening anaphylaxis. To mitigate these reactions, NYBC can provide washed products to nearly eliminate plasma in red cell and platelet products or platelets stored in additive solution with less plasma.

Hemolytic Reactions: Transfusion of incompatible red blood cells or plasma can lead to hemolysis. These reactions can be secondary to ABO-incompatibility or other minor red cell antigens. Hemolytic reactions can be acute, occurring immediately, or delayed, occurring days to weeks after the transfusion, and result in fever, chills, and back pain. To mitigate these reactions, NYBC ensures blood components are appropriately labeled, labeling group O platelets if they have high titer ABO antibodies, and providing red cell antigen negative units for alloimmunized patients upon request.

Febrile Non-Hemolytic Reactions: Febrile non-hemolytic transfusion reactions are defined as a temperature increase of 1 degree C or greater associated with a transfusion with or without chills/rigors. These are due to either white blood cells or cytokines in the product. To mitigate these reactions, NYBC leukoreduces all blood components.

Post-Transfusion Purpura: Post-transfusion purpura, which occurs rarely, is secondary to recipient platelet antibodies against transfused platelet antigens resulting in severe thrombocytopenia. To mitigate these reactions, NYBC leukoreduces all blood components, which may help.

Transfusion-Associated Circulatory Overload: Transfusion-associated circulatory overload results from circulatory overload following transfusion. Symptoms include dyspnea, orthopnea, hypertension, headache, and cyanosis.

Transfusion- Associated Graft-Versus-Host Disease: Transfusion-associated graft versus host disease is a rare, but highly fatal complication of transfusion. This occurs when donor lymphocytes engraft into a recipient resulting in decreased blood counts, rash, and diarrhea. To mitigate these reactions, NYBC can irradiate products for high risk recipients, like those with immunodeficiency syndromes, hematologic malignancies, and on certain immunosuppressive medications. NYBC can irradiate components, which prevents this complication.


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