Blood Typing

Alternate Names

  • Type & Cross
  • ABO Grouping and Rh Typing

There are four different blood types, and not all blood types are compatible with each other. Blood typing determines which blood type you have and also determines the absence or presence of Rh antigens. The importance of identifying blood type is to prevent a transplant reaction against an incompatible blood type, which results in a mild to severe allergic-type reaction against the donor blood.

Blood type A has anti-B antigens; Blood type B has anti-A antigens; Blood type AB has both anti-A and anti-B antigens; and Blood type O has neither anti-A or anti-B antigens. Blood Type AB is considered to be a universal recipient, and Blood Type O is considered to be a universal donor.

Rh factor is another antigen that may be present on the RBC, and is next in importance for blood typing. If the antigen is present, then the person is considered Rh positive; if the antigen is not present, then the person is considered Rh negative. This is especially important to determine during pregnancy, since a mother with Rh negative blood carrying an Rh positive baby can develop antibodies that may negatively affect future pregnancies.


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