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News Published on 18.6.2021, 07:47

Improvements to the safety of obstetric patients: a blood sample will be taken in order to perform a cross-matching test and basic blood count analysis

  • labor
  • Women’s Hospital
  • Espoo Hospital

Sometimes childbirth involves significant bleeding or a procedure is required that causes heavy bleeding, in which case the patient needs donated blood. This is why it is recommended that all obstetric patients being admitted to hospital provide a blood sample for performing a cross-matching test required for blood transfusions. This is to examine the clinically relevant red cell antibodies from the patient’s plasma and to obtain a blood count analysis (red and white blood cell and platelet counts and hemoglobin level).

The cross-matching test and blood count analysis for all women arriving to give birth will be introduced in all HUS maternity hospitals, i.e. the Women’s Hospital and the hospitals in Espoo, Hyvinkää, and Lohja. The purpose of proactive testing is to improve the safety of our obstetric patients and to speed up the treatment process in case of bleeding. If the blood sample for the cross-matching test is not taken in advance, it may take more than an hour to obtain a suitable blood product when needed. In the past, samples have been taken on a means-tested basis.

Spontaneous labor, induced labor, urgent cesarean section

  • All women arriving to give birth are required to have a valid cross-matching test result. The sample is taken upon arrival at the hospital, unless it has been previously taken at the same hospital within a period of five days. 
  • In connection with a cross-matching test, a blood count is also obtained.

Elective cesarean section

  • All those arriving for an elective cesarean section will have their cross-matching test and blood count taken within five days before their surgical procedure.
  • A blood count is obtained again on the morning of the procedure, if this is required on the basis of previous values or any abnormality during pregnancy, such as hypertensive syndrome.


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