Surely, you’ve heard about blood groups, even though you may not have checked yours. It is necessary to know your blood group especially because it is an indispensable factor in blood transfusion.
There are various classifications used in blood grouping but the most significant are the ABO and Rh blood groupings.
Blood groups are determined by the presence or absence of ABO and Rh antigens on the red blood cells of a person. An antigen is any substance that is capable of inducing an immune response. If there is an introduction of an antigen that is foreign to your body system, this antigen will induce your immune system to produce antibodies against the foreign antigen.
For the ABO grouping, if you express A type antigens on your red blood cells, you’re of the blood group A. The same way if there are B type antigens on your red blood cells, you’re of blood group B. If you express both A and B antigen types on your red blood cells, you’re of blood group AB. If you express neither A nor B antigen types, you’re of blood group O.
The same concept applies for the Rh grouping. There are many types of Rh antigens but the most significant is Rh ‘D’. If you express Rh ‘D’ antigen on your red blood cells, you’re Rh ‘D’ positive. If you don’t have it, you’re Rh ‘D’ negative.
You get your blood group when you put both the ABO and Rh groupings together. For instance, if you express A antigen and Rh ‘D’ antigen, your blood group is “A Rh ‘D’ Positive”, or simply put “A Positive”. The same way, if you don’t express any of those antigens, your blood group is “O Rh ‘D’ Negative”, simply put “O Negative”. The other possible combinations include “A Negative”, “B Positive”, “B Negative”, “AB Positive”, “AB Negative” and “O Positive” based on the antigens present and/or absent.
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This article was written by Joseph Ofori and reviewed by Arnold Agyemang, who are both professional medical laboartory scientists.