Blood Typing What is the use of blood typing? • Each person’s blood is different due to the presence of antigens on the surface of red blood cells. • Before a person receives a blood transfusion it is important to do blood typing. • Doctor’s must be sure that the donated blood is compatible with the recipients blood. • Mixing blood types can be very dangerous, even deadly in some cases. What is blood made up of? An adult human has about 4–6 liters of blood circulating in the body. Blood consists of several types of cells floating around in a fluid called plasma. The red blood cells (RBCs) contain haemoglobin, a protein that binds oxygen. RBCs transport oxygen to, and remove carbon dioxide from the tissues. The white blood cells fight infection. The platelets help the blood to clot, if you get a wound for example. The plasma contains salts and various kinds of proteins. www.freelivedoctor.com What are the different blood groups? •The 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 RBCs and the antibodies are in the blood plasma. •Individuals have different combinations of these molecules. types and •The blood group you belong to depends on what you have inherited from your parents. www.freelivedoctor.com What are the different blood groups? • There are more than 20 genetically determined blood group systems known today • The AB0 and Rhesus (Rh) systems are the most important ones used for blood transfusions. • Not all blood groups are compatible with each other. Mixing incompatible blood groups leads to blood clumping, which is dangerous for individuals. www.freelivedoctor.com ABO blood grouping system According to the ABO blood typing system there are four different kinds of blood types: A, B, AB or O (null). www.freelivedoctor.com Type A Blood • If you belong to the blood group A, you have A antigens on the surface of your RBCs and B antibodies in your blood plasma. • A person with type A blood may only donate their blood to another person with type A blood or someone who has type AB blood. Type B Blood • If you belong to the blood group B, you have B antigens on the surface of your RBCs and A antibodies in your blood plasma. • A person with type B blood can only donate blood to another person with type B blood or someone who has type AB blood. Type AB Blood • Type AB blood has BOTH A & B antigen and does not contain ANY antibodies. • For this reason type AB blood is considered the universal recipient. – Since type AB blood has no antibodies against the other blood types, a person with type AB blood can receive any type of blood if needed, but may only donate blood to other type AB recipients. Type O Blood • Type O blood has neither an A or a B antigen and contains both A AND B antibodies. • Because type O blood does not have either antigen it will not react with A or B antibodies so a person with type O blood may donate blood to any other blood types. For this reason type O blood is known as the universal donor. • Type O will attack all other blood types (A,B, & AB) so a person with type O blood may only receive blood from another person with type O blood. Diagram of how different blood types may donate: Blood Group Antigens Antibodies Can give blood to Can receive blood from AB A and B None AB AB, A, B, O A A B A and AB A and O B B A B and AB B and O O None A and B AB, A, B, O O www.freelivedoctor.com HOW TO KNOW YOUR BLOOD TYPE 1. You mix the blood with three different reagents including either of the three different antibodies, A, B or Rh antibodies. 2. Then you take a look at what has happened. In which mixtures has agglutination occurred? The agglutination indicates that the blood has reacted with a certain antibody and therefore is not compatible with blood containing that kind of antibody. If the blood does not agglutinate, it indicates that the blood does not have the antigens binding the special antibody in the reagent. 3. If you know which antigens are in the person's blood, it's easy to figure out which blood group he or she belongs to!