What exactly are Blood Groups?
- Believe or not, every individual has two types of blood groups. The first one- the ABO grouping and the second –Rh grouping.
- Most people are familiar with ABO – group where there are four categories-
- A Group, B Group, O Group and AB Group.
- In the Rh Group – either the individual is Rh-positive, or Rh-negative.
What is the Rh factor?
Rhesus factor is named after Rhesus monkeys where it was first discovered. Yes! That’s true! Each human falls in one of the groups.
Why should we know our blood group?
It is important to know your blood group. Why? In case of any accident or emergency, a doctor or nurse or paramedic may ask you your blood group. For all purposes, it is ideal to transfuse blood of the same group to which the patient belongs. It is only under extreme emergency that one might take O group as universal donor and AB groups as universal recipient.
Did you know: under no circumstances can O group get any other blood except O! Similarly A group patient cannot be given B group blood and vice versa.
Why can A group patient not give blood to a B group patient?
Due to the reason that blood of A Group people contains anti – B antibodies. Similarly, in B group people there are anti – A antibodies. If we give A group blood to a B group patient, it is incompatible and extremely harmful.
And, why are Rh – and Rh + incompatible?
Due to severe Antigen-antibody reactions, it is a patient with Rh – blood cannot be given Rh + blood.
Blood group incompatibility in parents
In cases where a woman has Rh – and her husband has Rh +, the first child with Rh + may be normal. But such is not the case in her second pregnancy. Ultimately the woman may have abortions or may not be able to conceive at all. If the child born is alive, he or she is bound to suffer from a fatal disease called Erythroblastosis Foetalis.
We are now so advanced that mothers can now be given an anti-D injection within 24 hours of delivery of a Rh + child, protecting the baby from the fatal disease.