Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Reader 1

Mary Evans

Reader 2

Findley Finseth

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Over the past several decades and increasingly in recent years, blood transfusions in the United States have plummeted as surgery has gotten more precise and less invasive. Alongside this decrease in general transfusions has been an increase in specific blood products for patients whose immune systems require special treatment. Simultaneously, trends in healthcare in the United States have incentivized regional hospitals to join large conglomerates. These coexisting factors have left regional blood banks, traditionally economically viable, in much weakened states. This thesis was born out of an initial curiosity to discover whether or not genetic science, and genotyping in particular, could benefit small regional blood banks by allowing them to bring down their costs of pre-transfusion blood testing or offer new products. I focus on the San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) as a case study of the larger blood banking industry. In the course of this research, economic factors were taken into consideration as well as social and health. A minor question that was also discussed was whether genotyping not only help regional blood banks survive fiscally but also open the gateway to better patient outcomes and lower costs nationally of blood transfusions and their associated costs. Feasibility analyses and financial modeling suggest support for genotyping blood donors and transfusion recipients in order to more perfectly match blood transfusions through extended antigen matching.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.