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KBBB

Darkening of panel cells-possible contamination?

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We use multiple suppliers of panel cells as well as make an in-house panel from frozen donor cells. Over the last year

we have noticed several vials in multiple lots of commercial panel cells from one supplier going dark (contaminated?) 

as well as our in-house panel cells that are suspended in commercial red cell storage solution.   Has anyone else noticed

this type of problem with any of your commercial panels?  Have you ever had the problem and figured out what was causing it? 

We have considered fungus or bacteria getting into the vials, but can't really explain what is going on with the two different issues. 

We are looking at another brand of modified Alsever's solution to try for our in-house panel but that doesn't solve the commercial panel mystery.

Any thoughts?

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While it shouldn't be affecting your in-house panel, watch for shipping damage (out of temp) also on the commercial panels.  Might cause the damage.

We just had one CAP survey for automated Blood Bank that we had to replace 1 out of 6 tubes that was dark (and hemolysed?).  Rest were ok.

 

Edited by cswickard

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The supplier of the panels and the storage solution is the same.  Supplier says no one else is having a problem.  If we have 2 sets of the same lot of panel, we have seen vials in one set go dark while the same vials in the other set is fine.

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7 hours ago, KBBB said:

The supplier of the panels and the storage solution is the same.  Supplier says no one else is having a problem.  If we have 2 sets of the same lot of panel, we have seen vials in one set go dark while the same vials in the other set is fine.

Interesting. I like the "no one else is having a problem" line - the implication being that the problem is a result of something done by the end user.

Random contamination (darkening) seems to be the bane of red cell manufacturers. Often, the randomness is exactly as you describe: one vial bad, another of the same batch is fine. It's very difficult to pin down a cause - could be their storage solution, could be inadequate sterilization of the containers/droppers, could be shipping, etc. I doubt there will be any resolution. I would send them pictures and ask for replacements.

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They may not be contaminated.  The question is, are they working correctly?  In other words, if you put up your controls, especially anti-Fya, are they working correctly?

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I had this happen to a set of screen cells a few years back. Seemed a bit darker. Then we started getting positive screens. I cultured the screens and grew yeast. The patients were sensitive to yeast. Sending the screens to another blood bank for testing showed them as negative. About a week later we received a notice from the company in the mail and new screen cells. 

Another time the company called us to let us know not to use a panel and sent a new one. It turned black at room temp immediately!  I didn’t culture that one. 

And we have seen it happen to one cell in a panel. Culture if you can, as I’m sure you aren’t alone. 

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