Frequently Asked Questions1. Are there any other blood types besides the ABO blood group?
There are many other types of antigens which may occur on the surface of red blood cells. However, most of them are classified as "minor" and are not as important as ABO and rhesus. They are the Duffy, Kell, Kidd, MNS, and P systems. Tests for antigens from these systems are not included in routine blood typing.
2. Are there subtypes of blood group A?
There are about 20 different subgroups of blood group A of which A1 and A2 subtypes are the most common.
3. Why is blood group O negative considered the universal donor?
A person having O negative blood group lacks all the antigens and hence has antibodies against A and B antigens in their plasma. Hence they can donate blood to people with any blood group.
4. Is there a criteria for blood donation?
The American Red Cross association has certain rules for donating blood. One is the person must weigh at least 110 lbs. Also, if they are 18 years or younger they must meet additional height and weight criteria for whole blood donation.
5. What is Apheresis?
In apheresis, blood is circulated through an apparatus in order to remove only a particular component; the remaining blood is put back into circulation.
6. What are the conditions for blood storage?
Frozen red cells are stored at - 85 0F up to 10 years whereas less-dense blood plasma is split into components and each of them are stored according to different criteria.
7. When can you not donate blood?
You cannot donate blood if you -
- Are HIV positive
- Are a Hepatitis B or C carrier
- Have received money or drugs for sex
- Have taken injections with drugs, body-building drugs or injectable tanning agents.
8. What is the Bombay blood group?
When somebody lacks the basic H antigen on their red blood cells, they are known to have a Bombay blood group. Hence, these individuals also lack A and B antigens since the H antigen is their precursor. Their plasma develops antibodies towards the H antigen as well as antigens A and B. Hence they can only receive blood from people who have the Bombay blood group.
9. Can the parent and the fetus have different Rh factors?
Yes. The mother may be Rh negative but the baby could be Rh positive if it inherits the D antigen from the father.
10. Is Rh incompatibility between mother and fetus serious?
If the mother is Rh negative meaning she does not have the Rh factor and she bears a child who is Rh positive, that is having the Rh factor, the motherís blood will develop antibodies against the fetal RBCs. These small antibodies can cross the placenta and cause hemolysis of the babyís RBCs. The baby can develop a hemolytic disease characterized by low fetal red blood cell count.
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