More You Know: Eight Major Blood Types

heartblood1I’ve known my blood type since high school.  It’s a good thing to know, in case you need a a blood transfusion.  Some people like to donate their own blood before they have surgery.  Not me.  I’d rather take blood from someone else with my blood type while I’m on the table.   I have the most common blood type around, O+, which is why Red Cross is always after my blood.  I’ve given blood before and often at a cost to me.  I’ve reacted quite ugly and the last person who took my blood told me I should find other ways to volunteer.  My blood ultimately ended up going to a young male in San Diego.  The first time I got a notice saying where my blood was used.

heartblood2Whole blood contains red cells, plasma, and platelets.  The reality is some donations take longer than others.  Platelet donations take the longest time and red blood cell donations take the shortest.   The other reality is not all blood donated to Red Cross is used.  Why?  Because blood only lasts up to 42 days when stored properly, platelets for five days, and plasma for a year if frozen.  Blood can also be frozen and stored up to ten years but it’s not the best way to go for obvious reasons.  Sometimes the demand is low and the supply high, therefore some of it has to be thrown away.  

4typesThere are four major blood types based on the absence or presence of antigens.  The two antigens are A and B.  The eight most common blood types are A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, and AB-.  The universal red cell donor is type O- blood and the universal plasma donor is type AB blood.  While worldwide there is no standard rarest blood type, in the U.S. it is the AB- blood group and O+ being the most common.

Blood type O has neither A or B antigens on red cells.  There are A and B antibodies in the plasma. 

Blood type A has A antigen on red cells.  There is B antibody in the plasma. 

Blood type B has B antigen on red cells.  There is A antibody in the plasma. 

Blood type AB has both A and B antigens on red cells.  There aren’t A and B antibodies in the plasma.

redbloodcellsSo what recipient gets what blood type and what about the donor?  The only blood type that can donate to all eight blood types is O- while the only blood type to be the recipient of all eight blood types is AB+.  The eight blood types and combinations are listed below.

O- blood can be donated to A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, and AB- but can only receive blood from O- blood.

O+ blood can be donated to O+, A+, B+, and AB+ but can receive blood from O- and O+ blood.

A- blood can be donated to A+, A-, AB+, and AB- but can receive blood from A- and O-.

A+ blood can be donated to A+ and AB+ but can receive blood from A+, A-, O+, and O- blood.

B- blood can be donated to B+, B-, AB+, and AB- but can receive blood from B- and O- blood.

B+ blood can be donated to B+ and AB+- but can receive blood from B+, B-, O+, and O- blood.

AB- blood can be donated to AB+ and AB- but can receive blood from AB-, A-, B-, and O- blood.

AB+ blood can only be donated to AB+ but can receive blood from A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+, and AB- blood.

2020pc2

 

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