Reference Testing


The American Red Cross reference laboratories provide assistance with routine and complex serological cases, selection of suitable donor units and technical and medical consultation.

With more than 50 years of experience, world class expertise and locations to meet healthcare needs, our laboratories also offer educational programs and local lectures. Our laboratories follow rigorous quality standards and process controls to meet state and local regulatory requirements.

download pdfDownload our Guide to Red Cross Reference Laboratory Services or browse services offered by our local or national laboratories below:
Reference Testing

Immunohematology Reference Testing Services

  • Red blood cell antibody identification: single antibody specificity, multiple antibody specificities
  • Red blood cell autoantibody evaluations: warm autoantibody, cold autoantibody
  • Antigen-negative red blood cell components: single antigen, multiple antigen, and high-prevalence antigen negatives
  • Transfusion reaction investigations
  • ABO discrepancy investigations
  • Access to the American Rare Donor Program for rare red blood cell components and IgA-deficient plasma products
  • Immune hemolytic anemia evaluation: autoimmune or drug-induced*
  • Determination of clinical significance of red blood cell antibodies by monocyte monolayer assay*
  • Evaluation of complex warm autoantibodies*
  • Identification of red blood cell antibodies to high-prevalence and low-prevalence antigens*
  • Antigen typing of samples from transfused patients*
  • Investigation of DAT-negative autoimmune hemolytic anemia*
  • Molecular blood group determinations*
  • IgA protein concentration determination and anti-IgA detection*
  • Cryoprecipitated-AHF quality control testing*
  • Download the Immunohematology Consultation request form
  • Download the urgent release of test results form
  • Download the donor request for special blood form
  • Download the physician authorization letter for releasing IRL results to health care facilities

    * When services are not offered by a local reference laboratory, samples will be sent to an appropriate facility.

For more information contact your local Red Cross Blood Region, or the National Reference Laboratory for Blood Group Serology at: 215-451-4901.

Platelet Serology

  • ELISA testing for the detection of antibodies directed against Glycoproteins: IIb/IIIa, Ia/IIa, Ib/IX, IV and HLA Class I antigens
  • ELISA testing for the detection of heparin antibody
  • Platelet Suspension Immunofluorescence Test (PSIFT)
  • Solid Phase Red Cell Adherence (SPRCA)
  • Platelet crossmatching
  • Platelet associated immunoglobulin identification
  • Drug-dependent antibody testing
  • HPA-1a (P1A1) typing
  • Assistance in the diagnosis of thrombocytopenia due to:
    • Autoimmune Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (AITP)
    • Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia (NAIT)
    • Posttransfusion Purpura (PTP)
    • Heparin associated antibody
    • Refractoriness to platelet transfusion
  • Download the request for Neonatal testing form
  • Download the request for Platelet Serology testing form

For more information contact the National Platelet Serology Laboratory at: 215-451-4205.

Neutrophil Reference Services

  • Granulocyte Agglutination Assay (GA)
  • Granulocyte Immunofluorescence Assay (GIF)
  • Monoclonal antibody immobilization of neutrophil antigen assay (MAINA)
  • HLA (PRA) Class I and Class II antibody detection by flow cytometry
  • Neutrophil phenotyping and genotyping (SSP-PCR)
  • Neutrophil crossmatch
  • Download the request for Neutrophil Serology testing form

For more information contact (855) 216-9202 or visit:

Molecular Blood Group and Platelet Testing

  • Analysis of patient and donor samples for blood group and platelet antigens by DNA methods.
  • DNA and RNA sequencing to resolve complex Rh blood group alleles, identify weak ABO subgroups, and characterize new mutations and null alleles or platelet antigen systems.
  • Molecular testing can be used for:
    • Typing a patient who has had multiple transfusions and/or has a positive Direct Antiglobulin Test
    • Screening for antigen-negative donor units when antisera are in short supply or not available
    • Resolving/confirming weak D or partial D
    • Identifying e-variants
    • Typing panels and rare donor cells
    • HPA genotyping for NAIT and PTP
For more information contact:, or call: 215-451-4917.

To submit a sample, please complete the Molecular Testing Request Form.

HLA Testing

  • Detection and identification of HLA antibodies in sensitized patients and donors
  • Determination of HLA types of patients and blood donors to assist in the provision of HLA-matched platelet transfusions
  • HLA testing support for HSCT and organ transplantation, including monitoring of engraftment post-HSCT transplantation
  • Identification of disease predisposition HLA gene for Celiac disease, narcolepsy, Ankyllosing spondylitis, and other
  • Identification of drug hypersensitivity related HLA genes, including: HLA-B*5701 with Abacavir, HLA-B*1502 with Carbamazepine, and HLA-B*5801 with Allopurinol

      Services available at each of our HLA laboratories may vary, so please contact your Red Cross representative to discuss your needs.

For more information contact the respective laboratory:

       Dedham, MA         781-461-2145
       Philadelphia, PA   215-451-4131
       Charlotte, NC        704-347-8205
       Portland, OR          800-922-3998
       Pomona, CA          909-859-7417

Parentage and Forensic Testing

  • Private cases, including paternity and other genetic relationships
  • Single parent cases
  • Forensic cases in criminal investigations by private and state authorities
For more information contact: 503-528-5405