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Why do blood types matter?

It’s often said that despite humanity’s many conflicts, we all bleed the same blood. It’s a nice thought, but not quite accurate. In fact, our blood comes in a few different varieties. Natalie S. Hodge defines the four major blood types and sheds light on why some bloods can mix while others cannot.

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Blood Group O Negative (O-ve):

O negative blood has an amazing power to save anyone in need of a blood transfusion.

Donors with this powerful blood type are often called the universal blood donor because their

red blood cells can be transfused into any patient, regardless of what type of blood the

recipient has. Only 7% of the population has O negative blood yet it is the blood type in the

highest demand.


Blood Group O Positive (O +ve):

O+ is the most common blood type and that is what makes it so powerful. 37% of the

population has O+ blood. Since more people have O+ blood than any other blood type, it is

transfused more often. The need is so constant that donated blood is often transfused within

three days of your donation.

The most powerful part of O+ blood can be found in the red cells. To maximize your true

lifesaving power, O+ donors are strongly encouraged to either donate double red blood cells or

whole blood. By donating double red cells, you can double the power of your donation. As an

O+ donor, your red blood cells hold the most power. You should consider giving an automated

double red blood cell donation to maximize your gift. Double red blood cell donation is done

through a process called automation and allows us to collect only your red blood cells and not

your platelets or plasma like we would for a whole blood donation. Men must weigh 130

pounds and be 5’1” or taller and women must weigh at least 150 pounds and be 5’5” or taller

to donate double red blood cells.

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Blood Group B positive (B +ve):

B positive is a rare blood type that holds tremendous power. Only 8% of the population

has B positive blood. The need for blood is constant. Every 2 seconds, someone needs blood.

Donated blood is often transfused within three days of your donation.

People with B positive blood have two ways to target the power of their blood. Their red blood

cells are needed and so too are their platelets. Platelet donations offer life-saving hope for

cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and platelets can be donated every 7 days. To

maximize their true lifesaving power, all B positive donors are strongly encouraged to donate

whole blood or platelets.


Blood Group B negative(B -ve):

B negative is a rare blood type that holds tremendous power. Only 2% of the population

has B negative blood. The need for blood is constant. Blood is often transfused within three

days of your donation.

People with B negative blood have two ways to target the power of their blood. Their red blood

cells are needed and so too are their platelets. Platelet donations offer life-saving hope for

cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and platelets can be donated every 7 days. To

maximize their true lifesaving power, all B negative donors are strongly encouraged to donate

whole blood, double red blood cells or platelets.Find your nearest donor center and make an

appointment to donate today.


Differences between A1 and A2

A1 red blood cells ( or ‘erythrocytes’) have about one million A antigens per cell. A2 red

cells have only 250,000 A antigens per cell, or one-fourth the amount that A1 cells have.

The ‘A’ antigen on A1 and A2 subgroup blood cells is named ‘Type 2 A’ antigen; however, A1

subgroup blood cells also have two additional forms of antigen as well, ‘Type 3 A’ and ‘Type 4

A’, neither of which appear on A2 subgroup blood cells.


A1 and A2 Subgroups

These are the most important subgroups in the system. A1 equals approximately 80% of

the entire A blood type population, and A2 makes up the remaining 20%, under current data.

This means that all other subgroups must be rare. These figures show that A1’s equal 32% of

the entire population in the U.S., while A2’s make up a full 8% of the population, or an amount

double that of the entire AB population and nearly as large a group as all the B’s in the U.S. One

out of every 5 A’s is an A2.