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Blood Types Simplified

Understanding the Basics of Blood Types

Simply put, a blood type can be defined as a red blood cell that contains a specific surface antigen (surface marker).

 

BloodTypes-ABO

 

Differences in human blood are due to the presence or absence of certain protein molecules called
antigens and antibodies. The antigens are located on the surface of the red blood cells and the antibodies are in the blood plasma.

An antibody is a large Y-shaped protein that is used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses.

 

 

Blood group A
If you belong to the blood group A, you have A antigens on the surface of your red blood cells and B antibodies in your blood plasma.

The cells in your body make antibodies only to type B antigens. The A-type surface antigens on the cells are not recognized. These surface antigens can be attached to the surface of your blood cells or to proteins or lipids anywhere in your body.

Blood group B
If you belong to the blood group B, you have B antigens on the surface of your red blood cells and A antibodies in your blood plasma.

Your cells have type B antigens attached, so your body makes antibodies against only type A. Once the type A antigens are kept away, your blood cells “show” type B as the dominant type. You can receive type B or type O blood, and you can donate to those with type B or type AB blood.

Blood group AB
If you belong to the blood group AB, you have both A and B antigens on the surface of your red blood cells and no A or B antibodies at all in your blood plasma.

You can receive blood from a donor with any blood type (universal recipient), but you can donate blood only to other people with type AB blood.

Blood group O
If you belong to the blood group O (null), you have neither A or B antigens on the surface of your red blood cells but you have both A and B antibodies in your blood plasma.

This means that if you need blood, you can only receive more type O blood. But, you can donate your blood to anybody; thus, you are a universal donor. Type O blood is the most common.

 

Blood_Compatibility

 

The Rh proteins are grouped into two families – either positive or negative.
The Rh factor refers to a protein found on the covering of the red blood cells. A person is Rh positive if the protein is present and Rh negative if the protein is absent.

For Example:

  • If a person has the genes + +, the Rh factor in the blood will be positive.
  • If a person has the genes + -, the Rh factor will also be positive.
  • If a person has the genes – -, the Rh factor will be negative.

Blood used in transfusions much match donors for Rh status as well as for ABO blood group

 

 

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