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Coomb’s Test (Indirect)

About the test
What is this test done for?
Indirect Coomb’s test is a blood test done for detecting presence of antibodies against RBCs (red blood cells).
Why is it Done?
This is a special blood test that checks for antibodies against Rh (Rhesus) factor present on RBCs in the blood. This result in destruction of RBCs and causing a condition called as hemolytic anemia.This test is done before blood transfusion to avoid hemolysis and during pregnancy to avoid the hemolytic disease of the new born.
When should it be performed?

This test is performed

  • Before a patient is undergoing blood transfusion
  • During pregnancy, when a mother, who is Rh negative and has previous exposure to Rh factor, and in current pregnancy has Rh positive baby. This results in formation of antibodies against the baby’s RBCs and causes hemolytic disease of the new born. Thus, in pregnancy this test is performed to rule out possible bleeding complications in the baby to be born.
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. No special precautions like fasting required.
Results

The test result is normal, if the test is negative. It means

  • No antibodies are attached to RBCs
  • Absence of hemolytic anemia

The test results are abnormal, if the test is positive. Stronger the reaction means greater the amount of antibodies are present. It means

  • Antibodies are present against RBCs and is causing hemolysis
  • Blood transfusion reaction
  • High possibility of hemolytic disease of the new born (baby-mother blood group incompatibility)
Other Tests
  • Direct Coomb’s Test or Anti D Titre
    • It is a specialized blood test carried out to evaluate the presence of antibodies against RBCs
    • Presence of antibodies indicate hemolysis
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