We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Does It Mean to Crossmatch?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jan 27, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A crossmatch is a medical test to confirm the compatibility of donor blood, tissue, or organs. A doctor will request this test after basic screening suggests that the donor material should be compatible. The goal is to identify any reactions that might make a transfusion or transplant dangerous. In an emergency situation, a doctor can request immediate donor material that matches a patient's type, but does not necessarily crossmatch. This usually occurs when the risk of death without the transfusion is greater than the risk of illness or injury because of it.

In a crossmatch procedure, a technician takes serum from the patient's blood and inoculates it with cells from the donor's blood. If the reaction is negative, nothing happens. The patient does not have antibodies to the donor's cells, or has them in such low concentrations that they do not trigger an immune response. If the sample starts to clump up, it indicates that antibodies are present and a transfusion or transplant cannot safely be performed because the patient's immune system will attack the donor material.

Many laypeople are familiar with the concept of matching by type, often using the ABO blood grouping. Patients with blood from different groups can experience reactions during transfusions as a result of antibodies. Type, however, is not the only measure of compatibility. A patient could receive a transfusion of blood that is theoretically a match and still experience a reaction because of other components in the blood known as factors. The crossmatch looks for factors that might cause a problem.

In addition to performing a physical crossmatch, it is also possible to do an electronic one. This relies on a detailed profile of the patient's blood. If a patient has a negative antibody screening, the computer can search for a match in a donor database. This type of crossmatch is not available in all settings but can be useful in a location like a blood bank for quickly identifying units of blood that should be safe for transfusion.

Transfusions and transplants ideally include a type and crossmatch before the recipient comes into contact with donor material. This is an important part of the screening for patient safety. Before donor blood even enters the pool of available material, it will also be rigorously screened for signs of infectious organisms and other issues that might make a transplant or transfusion dangerous. Blood from a patient with hepatitis C, for example, cannot be used in transfusions because it would infect the recipient.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.