We all have a blood type, as you are probably aware of it. But do you know what distinguishes each type? While there are several blood group systems, used to type your blood, the most important is ABO system. The presence or absence of two antigens (A and B) on the surface of red blood cells determines your ABO type. ABO is divided into four types: A, B, AB and O. the other method to know your blood group is Rh. You either have Rh+ or Rh-. In this way, there are total 8 types of blood. Each of these eight kinds is distinct. Blood types determine who can and cannot give and receive blood. Your blood type, as well as patient need, determine which type of donation is best for you.
What is blood?
Blood is defined as a fluid that circulates through the vessels of the circulatory system. In humans, it consists of plasma (the liquid portion), blood cells (both red and white) and platelets, which are cell fragments. Blood is a fluid that circulates in blood vessels throughout the body. Blood is necessary for survival of living beings. Blood transports oxygen and nutrients to your organs and tissues while it also removes wastes from your body. Blood aids to fight against infections and helps in healing of injuries. The bone marrow is the place where blood cells are created. The soft, spongy part inside bones is called bone marrow. Blood is composed of different components. There are 4 main components of blood, which are red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets. Cells and platelets account for approximately 45 percent of the human blood, while plasma accounts for the remaining 55 percent.
Types of blood
There are four major blood groups or blood types: A, B, AB, and O. The genes you inherit from your parents determine your blood group. Each blood group can be RhD positive or RhD negative, for a total of eight blood groups. These eight blood types are comprised of two major blood groups. The ABO blood group is one of the groups, which is where the letter comes from. The other is the Rh blood group, which is represented by the + or – symbol.
The tiny decorations on the outside of your blood cells determine your blood type. These are known as antigens. These antigens can be composed of either sugars or proteins. Most antigens aid the blood cell in a variety of functions, including transporting other proteins into and out of the cell and assisting the blood cell in attaching to other molecules in our bodies.
When a person has Type A blood, it means that they have A antigens on their red blood cells. Similarly, if they have Type B blood, their blood cells contain B antigens. Type AB blood is defined as having both A and B antigens. Type O blood is defined as having no A or B antigens.
Another protein found on the surface of red blood cells is rhesus (Rh) factor. If a person is Rh positive, this protein can be found on their red blood cells. As a result, if a person has blood type AB+, they have A, B, and Rh antigens on their blood cells. If a person has the blood type O-, they lack all of these antigens.
The most commonly discussed blood groups are ABO and Rh. However, there are 33 different types of blood! They represent over 300 antigens in total! The MNS, P, Lutheran, Kelly, Lewis, Duffy, and Kidd groups are among the more well-known. Some of these antigens serve different functions than those of the ABO and Rh groups, such as assisting the red blood cell in maintaining its structure. However, because there are so many of them, we don’t know what all of the molecules on the surface of red blood cells do.
Antibodies and antigens
Blood is composed of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets suspended in a liquid known as plasma. Antibodies and antigens in your blood help to identify your blood group.
What are antibodies?
Antibodies are the proteins that can be found in plasma. They are a natural part of your body’s defenses. They detect foreign substances like germs and alert your immune system, which destroys them.
What are antigens?
The protein molecules found on the surface of red blood cells are known as antigens.
What is ABO system?
The ABO system distinguishes four major blood groups: A, B, AB and O.
- Blood group A has “A” antigens on red blood cells and anti-B antibodies in the plasma.
- Blood group B has “B” antigens and anti-A antibodies in the plasma.
- Blood group O has no antigens but both anti-A and anti-B antibodies in the plasma.
- Blood group AB has both A and B antigens but no antibodies in the plasma blood group.
The blood group O is the most common. Nearly half of the UK population has blood group O. Receiving blood from the incorrect ABO group can be fatal. When someone with group B blood is given group A blood, their anti-A antibodies attack the group A cells. As a result, group A blood should never be given to someone with group B blood, and vice versa. Because group O red blood cells lack A and B antigens, they can be safely given to any other group.
What is Rh system?
Another antigen found in red blood cells is the RhD antigen, a protein. If you have this protein in your blood, your blood group is RhD positive. If it’s missing, your blood type is RhD negative. This means you can belong to one of eight blood groups:
- 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-)
Around 85 percent of the UK population is RhD positive (the most common type is O+). O RhD negative blood (O-) can be safely given to anyone in most cases. It is frequently used in medical emergencies when the blood type is unknown. It is safe for most recipients because it contains no A, B, or RhD antigens on the cell surface and is compatible with all other ABO and RhD blood groups.
Blood group A+: It is one of the most common blood types and, as a result, one of the most transfused. People with blood group A+ can give blood products to A+ and AB+ blood types and receive all A and O blood types. It is a good candidate for whole blood, double red blood cell, or apheresis platelet donation.
Blood group A-: It is one of the most uncommon blood types. A- blood group people can donate blood products to all A and AB blood types and receive blood products from A- and O- blood types. It is an ideal whole blood, double red blood cell, or apheresis platelet donor.
Blood group B+: One of the most uncommon types of blood which can give blood products to types B+ and AB+ and receive blood products from all B and O types. It is a good candidate for whole blood, double red blood cell, or apheresis platelet donation.
Blood group B-: One of the most uncommon blood types which can give blood products to all B and AB blood types and receive blood products from O- and B- blood types. It is a good candidate for whole blood, double red blood cell, or apheresis platelet donation.
Blood group AB+: It is one of the most uncommon blood types which is also known as universal recipient, which means that you can receive blood products of any type. It is a universal plasma donor, which means that your plasma can be received by anyone with any blood type. It is a good candidate for whole blood or plasma donation.
Blood group AB-: Most uncommon blood type which is also known as universal plasma donor, which means that anyone can receive AB- plasma. It is a good whole blood, red blood cell, or plasma donor.
O- blood group: It is one of the rarest blood types; only 6.6 percent of the US population has type O-. It is a universal donor, which means that type O- blood products can be received by anyone. This blood group is a good candidate for whole blood or double red blood cell donation.
O+ blood group: It is one of the most common and most transfused types of blood; 37.4% of the US population has type O+ blood. People with this blood group can give blood products to all Rh+ types (A+, B+, O+ and AB+) and receive blood products from all O types. It is a good candidate for whole blood or double red blood cell donation.
Analysis of blood group
Your red blood cells are mixed with various antibody solutions to determine your blood group. If the solution contains anti-B antibodies and you have B antigens on your cells, you have blood group B and the solution will clump together.
It is blood group O if the blood does not react to any anti-A or anti-B antibodies. A series of tests using various types of antibodies can be used to determine your blood group.
If you receive a blood transfusion, your blood will be tested against a sample of donor cells containing ABO and RhD antigens. If no reaction occurs, donor blood of the same ABO and RhD type can be used.