NHS Blood and Transplant have shared details of their initiative to extensively test the blood groups of people with Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassaemia who may have had, or could need, blood transfusions. By examining the more detailed aspects of blood grouping, they hope to better understand the level of matching that is needed for patients when they receive blood products.

Testing is underway in hospitals throughout England and is being offered at no additional cost to hospitals until the end of June this year. More information can be found at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/extendedbloodgrouptesting and this includes a link to an information sheet for patients that includes some Frequently Asked Questions about the testing.

The press release for this news can also be found at http://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/news-and-media/news-articles/news_2016_01_22.asp

The NHSBT explain: