Transfusion medicine is a comparatively young specialty – it wasn’t until the 1990s that the first residencies in this discipline were offered. In addition to the preparation and use of blood component products, transfusion medicine deals with a number of questions regarding the relationship between “own to foreign”, which is of course an important factor in the use of blood products.
This specialist field is therefore heavily characterised by immunology, involving a number of specialist laboratory tests, such as blood group typing or determining antigens on other blood cells (HLA antigens – white blood cells, or HPA antigens – platelet antigens), as well as compatibility samples between individuals (also between male and female partners in case of infertility).
As a result, transfusion medicine also touches on a number of questions in transplantation medicine.
The production of stored blood components (which are subject to strict statutory regulations) and also the use of stored blood and blood preparations
(e.g. specific cell preparations, plasma preparations, immunoglobulins) form part of the tasks of a medical transfusion specialist.
Specifically in terms of immune-related infertility, the compatibility test between partners is of crucial importance. Therapies will use blood components both actively and passively, which in many cases need to be collected and prepared for immediate use.