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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 red blood cells and the antibodies are in the blood plasma. Individuals have different types and combinations of these molecules. The blood group you belong to depends on what you have inherited from your parents.

There are more than 20 genetically determined blood group systems known today, but the AB0 and 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 or agglutination, which is dangerous for individuals.

Nobel Laureate Karl Landsteiner was involved in the discovery of both the AB0 and Rh blood groups.

AB0 blood grouping system

According to the AB0 blood typing system there are four different kinds of blood types: A, B, AB or 0 (null).
Blood group A
If you belong to the blood group A, you have A antigens on the surface of your red blood cells and B antibodies in your blood plasma
Blood group B
If you belong to the blood group B, you have B antigens on the surface of your red blood cells and A antibodies in your blood plasma
Blood group AB
If you belong to the blood group AB, you have both A and B antigens on the surface of your red blood cells and no A or B antibodies at all in your blood plasma
Blood group 0
If you belong to the blood group 0 (null), you have neither A or B antigens on the surface of your red blood cells but you have both A and B antibodies in your blood plasma

The Rh factor grouping
Rh factor blood grouping system Many people also have a so called Rh factor on the red blood cell's surface. This is also an antigen and those who have it are called Rh+. Those who haven't are called Rh-. A person with Rh- blood does not have Rh antibodies naturally in the blood plasma (as one can have A or B antibodies, for instance). But a person with Rh- blood can develop Rh antibodies in the blood plasma if he or she receives blood from a person with Rh+ blood, whose Rh antigens can trigger the production of Rh antibodies. A person with Rh+ blood can receive blood from a person with Rh- blood without any problems.

According to above blood grouping systems, you can belong to either of following 8 blood groups:

A Rh+ B Rh+ AB Rh+ 0 Rh+
A Rh- B Rh- AB Rh- 0 Rh-

Do you know which blood group you belong to?


How do we detect the blood group of a sample?
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!
Blood transfusions – who can receive blood from
whom?
Of course you can always give A blood to persons with blood group A, B blood to a person with blood group B and so on. But in some cases you can receive blood with another type of blood group, or donate blood to a person with another kind of blood group.

The transfusion will work if a person who is going to receive blood has a blood group that doesn't have any antibodies against the donor blood's antigens. But if a person who is going to receive blood has antibodies matching the donor blood's antigens, the red blood cells in the donated blood will clump.

Blood Group Antigens Antibodies Can give blood to Can receive blood from
AB A and B None AB AB, A, B, 0
A A B A and AB A and 0
B B A B and AB B and 0
0 None A and B AB, A, B, 0 0

Blood Group Antigens Antibodies Can give blood to Can receive blood from
AB A and B None AB AB, A, B, 0
A A B A and AB A and 0
B B A B and AB B and 0
O None A and B AB, A, B, 0 O



Other blood groups
Several other blood group antigens have been identified in humans. Some examples: MN, Bombay Duffy, Lewis, Kell.
They, too, may sometimes cause
• Transfusion reactions and even
• Hemolytic disease of the newborn
In cases where there is no ABO or Rh incompatibility.


Bleed and be a donor
To save a life in danger

Why Blood Donation Is Imperative

People who lose blood in accidents, premature babies, major surgeries, patients suffering from dengue, cancer etc. Need blood. A proper supply of blood is essential for a person’s existence. In India, in every two seconds someone is in need of blood. In a year nearly 41 million units of 250 cc blood is needed in India and out of which only a meager quantity of half million is provided by the existing systems of blood donation. In other countries it is worse than in India. As blood can be not stored indefinitely someone has to volunteer to donate blood at the moment in which blood is needed. Delay will prove fatal to the person who is in need of blood urgently. So it is essential and vital that people must understand the importance of blood donation and volunteer themselves to donate blood. They must consider this as a sacred duty to their fellows and take it as a social obligation.

Who can be a donor

A donor must fulfil the following conditions.

a) He must be above 18 years of age
b) He must be healthy and weight at least 50 Kgs.
c) He must not be suffering from any disease (Cancer, AIDS, Contagious diseases etc) high Blood Pressure or any other disorder ….
d) He must not be a drug addict…..


What he must do and what he must not do

1) A donor must avoid smoking on the day in which he donates his blood. Of course he can smoke three hours after the donation.
2) He must not consume alcohol for 48 hours before the donation. (He must abstain from drinks for that day even after the donation.)
3) He must take a good meal at least 3 hours before the donation.
4) He must take snacks after the donation and take a good meal later.
5) He must take fluids in plenty. The donor will not feel drained or tired if he takes fluids.
6) He must refrain from heavy exercises for 12 hours after the donation