Everyone’s blood consists of the same basic parts, but different kinds of blood exist. Eight blood groups are available, and your type depends on your inherited genes. Most people have about 4 – 6 litres of blood which consists of different cells in the blood plasma.
The blood cells include:
Your blood is different from other people’s blood because it has a unique combination of protein molecules known as antibodies and antigens.
Antibodies are in your blood plasma, while antigens are on the surface of your red blood cells. Combining these antibodies and antigens in the blood gives your blood type.
Eight different blood groups are available. They include:
The four major blood groups depending on if you have the two specific antigens (A and B), known as the ABO blood group system, are:
The third antigen is the Rh factor. You will either have the Rh antigen or not, meaning your blood type is Rh+ (positive) or Rh- (negative).
An Australian scientist named Karl Landsteiner discovered blood groups in 1901. But, before this time, doctors thought everyone had the same blood, which led to many people dying from blood transfusions.
This discovery and further research have shown that mixing blood from people with different blood types will cause the blood to clump, which is fatal. Clumping occurs because the person receiving the blood has antibodies that will fight the cells in the donor blood, leading to a toxic reaction.
The donor and recipient must have compatible blood groups for a blood transfusion to be effective and safe. The best situations for transfusion are those where the donor and recipient have the exact blood group.
However, the donor’s blood mustn’t always match the recipient’s exact match but must be compatible.
People with O-negative red blood cells are the best donors as their blood is the safest for anyone in a life-threatening emergency or when the exact match is limited. Blood type O negative does not have antibodies to A, B and Rh antigens.
O-negative blood was previously called the universal red cell donor because research at the time found that they could donate blood to people with any blood type, but recent findings indicate possible risks with this blood type.
In the last decade, there have been several claims about diet for blood types where specific foods can lower the risks of some diseases and improve overall health for certain blood types. No scientific evidence can support these claims yet.
It is important to know your blood group, and you can get a blood group test at Private Blood Tests London. Call us today on 02071830244 for an appointment or visit our clinic at Suite E, 117a Harley St, Marylebone, London W1G 6AT, for your blood group test.