New Delhi: You may already know your blood type: whether it’s A, B, AB or O, and whether it’s positive or negative. But those are just the most common categories – what about the rest? What about people with ‘rare’ blood who don’t fit into any of these categories, thanks to uncommon combinations (or absences) of certain antigens?
I myself being O negative, was always curious to know about all the information related to rare blood groups.
Dr Asha Ojha, said, “World blood donor day takes place on June 14 each year. The aim is to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood.”
What are blood types?
Every drop of blood contains red blood cells, which carries oxygen throughout the body. It also contains white blood cells, which help fight infection and platelets, which help your blood clot.
But that’s not where it ends. Your blood also contains antigens, which are proteins and sugars that sit on red blood cells and give blood its type. Though there are at least 33 blood group systems, only two are widely used. These are the ABO and the Rh-positive/Rh-negative blood group systems.
What are the rarest blood types?
There are eight main blood types but some are rarer than others. The list below shows the approximate percentage of donors with each blood type:
O positive: 35%
O negative: 13%
A positive: 30%
A negative: 8%
B positive: 8%
B negative: 2%
AB positive: 2%
AB negative: 1%
One of the rarest blood types in the world is Rhnull, referred to as 'golden blood'.
What blood types are compatible for donation purposes?
Deciding which type of blood is suitable (compatible) for a person who needs blood depends on the ABO group and Rh group and how they match up. If you have blood that is type:
A positive: You can receive donor blood that is A positive, A negative, O positive, or O negative.
A negative: You can receive donor blood that is A negative or O negative.
B positive: You can receive donor blood that is B positive, B negative, O positive or O negative.
B negative: You can receive donor blood that is B negative or O negative.
AB positive: You can receive any blood type – you are a universal recipient.
AB negative: You can receive donor blood that is AB negative, A negative, B negative or O negative.
O positive: You can receive donor blood that is O positive or O negative.
O negative: You can only receive donor blood that is O negative
What blood type is the universal donor?
Type O blood is universal blood donor. Type O negative blood is most often used for emergencies.
What determines blood type?
Blood types are determined by genetics. You inherit genes from your parents – one from your mother and one from your father – to create a pair.
When it comes to blood type, you might inherit an A gene from one parent and a B gene from the other, resulting in the AB blood type. You could also get B antigens from both parents, giving you a BB, or a B, blood type.
On the other hand, Type O doesn’t contain any antigens and does not affect A and B blood types. This means that if you inherit an O from your mother and an A from your father, for example, your blood type would be A. It’s also possible that two people with type A or type B blood could have a baby with type O blood if they carry the O gene.
For example, parents with AO blood could pass the O antigen to their child, creating OO (or simply O) blood. Six of these combinations (AA, AB, BB, AO, BO, OO) are called genotypes. The four blood types (A, B, AB, and O) stem from these genotypes.
Why blood type matters
Your immune system naturally contains protective substances called antibodies. These help fight infections. Usually, they defend against viruses and bacteria.
However, antibodies can also attack antigens that aren’t in your natural blood type. For example, if you have type B blood mixed with type A blood during a transfusion, your antibodies will destroy the A antigens. This can have life-threatening results, which is why medical centers worldwide have strict procedures to keep this from happening.
Keep in mind that blood types don’t always need to be an exact match to be compatible. For example, AB blood has both the A and B antigens, so a person with this type of blood can receive either type A or B blood. Everyone can receive type O blood because it doesn’t contain any antigens. This is why people with type O blood are considered 'universal donors'. However, people with type O blood can receive only type O blood.
When it comes to the Rh factor, people with Rh-positive blood can receive either Rh-positive or Rh-negative blood, while people with Rh-negative blood can receive only Rh-negative blood. In some cases, a person with Rh-negative blood can carry a child with Rh-positive blood, resulting in a dangerous condition called Rh incompatibility.
Out of the majority, here is a list of numerous blood bank which provide 24-hour blood bank services:
Blood banks under central government:
1. Blood Bank, A.I.I.M.S. Ansari Nagar, Ring Road, New Delhi – 110029) - 26588641/26594870.
2. Blood Bank, Safdarjung Hospital (Ring Road, New Delhi – 110029) - 26168470/26163072.
3. Blood Bank, Dr. R.M.L. Hospital (Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi – 110001) - 23365581/23094959.
4. Blood Bank, Smt. Sucheta Kriplani Hospital (Connaught Place, New Delhi – 110001) - 23408271.
5. Blood Bank, C.N., A.I.I.M.S. Ansari Nagar, Ring Road, New Delhi – 110029) - 26593625/26594831.
Blood banks under Delhi government:
1. Blood Bank, L.N.J.P. Hospital (New Delhi – 110002) - 23233809/ 23231023
2. Blood Bank, G.B. Pant Hospital (New Delhi – 110002) - 23234242
3. Blood Bank, D.D.U. Hospital (Hari Nagar, New Delhi – 110069) - 5129345
Dr Asha Ojha added, “This year’s slogan, “Give blood and keep the world-beating,” aims to raise awareness during a time of crisis, reaching out to all eligible donors to contribute towards maintaining supplies of safe blood and by donating blood you can save someone’s life. Blood donation stimulates Blood Cell Production. It helps you to complete your social responsibilities.”