When it comes to blood types, there are four main ones which are A, B, AB, and O. As you know, blood has red and white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. The blood types tell you about the type of antigen you have, and that is passed down by your parents. Type O is recessive which means that unless both parents have type O blood, type O will not be dominant. For instance, if one partner has type O and the other has type A, the offspring will have type A if the A blood type gene is passed down.
You also have the Rhesus factor which is known as the Rh factor. If you have it present, then it is +, but if not, it is -. For instance, if you have the O blood type and you have the Rh factor, then that means you have O+ blood. There are several reasons that it is imperative that you know your blood type and let’s go over those now.
You Need To Know Your Blood Type To Get The Correct Blood For An Infusion
If you have an accident, surgery, or just delivered a baby and you lose blood, then you are at risk of losing blood. Therefore, you will need a transfusion. And therefore, you need to have the correct blood type and a negative Rh factor if your Rh factor is negative. If you get the wrong blood type, or if you don’t have the Rh factor and you end up with blood with a positive Rh factor, then your immune response will act as if you have a foreigner which will result in clumps and clots and that will be fatal. You will be matched before a transfusion so that will not happen. You need to receive what is compatible with you. The only blood type that is compatible to receive from all types is AB. If you have blood type A or B, you can also get an O blood type without causing a problem. However, if you are O blood type, you can only get O blood.
You Need To Know Your Blood Type If You Are A Donor
If you are kind to donate blood, you need to know your blood type so you know who can get your donated blood. If you have an AB blood type, then you can donate to others who have AB. If you have type O blood, then you can supply your blood to almost all recipients as O is the universal blood donor as it has red cells that are compatible with everyone. However, the universal plasma donor is someone who has AB blood.
Planning A Pregnancy
It is essential that expectant parents know their blood type and it has to do with the Rh factor. That means if the mother has a negative Rh factor in her blood, and the baby has a positive Rh factor, it can lead to Rh incompatibility which means there is a chance that the mother’s blood can come into contact with the baby’s blood which can cause the mother to produce antibodies to attack the baby’s blood. That can cause jaundice, and mothers that have the negative Rh factor are given an immunoglobulin shot to prevent that from happening if the baby has Rh-positive blood.
There are other health conditions that are associated with those with certain blood types. Those with the O blood type are the lowest likely to end up with heart disease, but those with AB and B are more likely to end up with artery disease. Those with type A are slightly less likely than O type to develop heart disease. Those who have the AB type are more likely to end up with a stroke, and those with the A blood type are more likely to end up with stomach cancer. Finally, those with the O blood type are more likely to get type 2 diabetes than the others. Those are all of the reasons it is important to know your blood type.