- What Is It
Although the blood type O+ can donate blood to all positive blood types (A+, B+, AB+, and O+), it is not a universal donor. Blood type O- is the universal blood donor, meaning that people with this blood type can donate blood to all other types with a lower risk of causing serious reactions.
What is a blood group?
Blood groups are an important categorization when it comes to many medical decisions.
What are antigens?
The A antigen is found exclusively in the A blood type, whereas the B antigen is found only in the B blood type. Both A and B antigens are present in the AB blood type. Neither A nor B antigen is present in the O blood type.
If blood antigens are unfamiliar to the body, they can cause an immune reaction, which means a mismatch of blood can clump dangerously inside the veins.
What are antibodies?
Antibodies are disease-fighting proteins found in the plasma that are necessary for immunological responses.
Anti-B antibodies are found in people with blood type A, and anti-A antibodies are found in those with blood type B. Antibodies A and B cause an immune response against the opposite antigens respectively, thus making compatibility necessary.
What are the different classifications of blood groups?
The ABO and Rh-positive or Rh-negative blood type classification is used to classify blood groups.
A, B, AB, and O are the four blood types in the ABO system, determined by the presence or absence of the antigens A and B on the surface of red blood cells.
- Type-A: Contains only the A antigen
- Type-B: Contains only the B antigen
- Type-AB: Contains both A and B antigens
- Type-O: Does not contain either A or B antigens. Because there are no antigens present, an individual with an ABO blood type can receive type-O blood.
Blood can be Rh-positive or Rh-negative based on the presence or absence of the rhesus protein on the surface of red blood cells. Rh-positive indicates the presence of the protein, while Rh-negative indicates the absence of the protein.
A separate set of genes determines Rh blood type from the ones that influence the ABO blood type, one inherited from each parent. People with Rh-negative blood will have a strong immune reaction if Rh-positive blood enters their blood. Thus, it is important to identify a person’s blood type before transfusion.
- A RhD positive (A+)
- A RhD negative (A-)
- B RhD positive (B+)
- B RhD negative (B-)
- RhD positive (O+)
- RhD negative (O-)
- AB RhD positive (AB+)
- AB RhD negative (AB-)
How does blood type play a role in pregnancy?
During delivery, the blood of the mother and the infant may interact. If this happens, the mother’s body may react to the Rh protein as a foreign material and start producing antibodies against it. This can lead to complications, including miscarriage.
What is the compatibility of different blood types?
- Blood type O- is compatible with all blood groups. A person with blood type O+ can give blood to anybody with blood groups A+, B+, AB+, or O+; however, as a recipient it is only compatible with the O+ blood group.
- As a donor, the AB+ blood group is only compatible with the AB+ blood group, but as a recipient, it is compatible with all blood groups.
- As donors, blood groups A and B are compatible with blood groups A, AB and B, AB, respectively, and as a recipient, it is compatible with blood groups A, O and B, O, respectively.
Why is it important to know your blood type?
You should know your blood group for the following reasons:
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Mitra R, Mishra N, Rath GP. Blood groups systems. Indian J Anaesth. 2014;58(5):524-528. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4260296/
Stanford Blood Center. Blood Types. https://stanfordbloodcenter.org/donate-blood/blood-donation-facts/blood-types/
The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. Blood Groups and Compatibilities. https://www.rch.org.au/bloodtrans/about_blood_products/Blood_Groups_and_Compatibilities/