Module Overview

Transfusion Science

The role of transfusion medicine in the context of current medical practice is the background to knowledge of the principles and practice of blood transfusion and its contribution to the provision of modern therapy in clinical practice. The student will focus on the issues pertinent to the provision of safe, therapeutically acceptable, blood derived products and, critically, on the laboratory requirements necessary for such activities. The module will cover the serological, biochemical and genetic considerations of the human blood groups which are fundamental to laboratory testing in transfusion and will achieve competence in the pre-transfusion storage, manipulation and selection of compatible blood and its derivatives.

Module Aim

The aim of this module is to provide students with:-

  • An introduction to the study of the human blood groups, their classification, genetics, biochemical and serological characteristics.
  • It also will examine the serological methodologies necessary for the safe provision of compatible blood for transfusion.
  • It will familiarise the student with the recruitment and selection of blood donors, the collection, preparation, storage and clinical use of blood and its components.
  • Finally, the diverse adverse effects of transfusion and strategies to overcome such reactions will be addressed.

Module Code

BIOL 2211

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Lecture Series

  • Fundamentals of immunology as applied to blood transfusion.
  • An overview of the clinically important blood group systems found in man.
  • The ABO Blood Group System
  • The Rh Blood Group System
  • Haemolytic Disease of the Newborn
  • The K, Fy, Jk and MNS blood group systems
  • Blood donor recruitment and selection.
  • Blood component preparation, storage and use.
  • Red Cell Transfusion
  • Frozen Plasma Transfusion
  • Products and factors for treatment of the bleeding patient.
  • Adverse effects of transfusion: Infections
  • Adverse effects of transfusion: Non-infectious
  • Introduction in transfusion laboratory accreditation and haemovigilance
  • The Human Leukocyte Antigen System in Transfusion Science

Practical program.

The Practical Program will be an introduction to sample handling, health and safety in the Transfusion laboratory, patient confidentiality and it will cover the key Blood Transfusion serological techniques.

  • ABO Typing
  • Complete ABO and RhD typing in Tubes
  • Use of column agglutination techniques for ABO and RhD typing
  • Rh Phenotyping
  • Screening for unexpected antibodies
  • Antibody Identification panels
  • Crossmatching
  • Indirect antiglobulin test in tubes
  • Direct antiglobulin test

This module will be delivered over one semester with a total of 46 contact hours. The module will use a mixture of didactic lectures and tutorials (total 26h) and practical laboratory sessions (20h). Attendance at laboratory practicals is mandatory

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination60
Other Assessment(s)40