Blood Group Types Explained


Knowing your blood group is essential if you want to donate blood. It is also necessary for safe transfusions. If you’re interested in knowing more about your blood type, you’re in the right place.

There are four major blood groups that are determined by the genes you receive from your parents. Besides that, every type can be RhD positive or RhD negative. This means there are overall eight groups you must be aware of.

A Brief Introduction To Antigens And Antibodies

Antibodies are mainly in plasma and help your immune system fight against foreign particles. Meanwhile, antigens are proteins found on the surface of your red blood cells.

Blood groups are mainly identified using antigens and antibodies. This is because every type contains specific antigens. So when you add the specific antibody to that group, clumping will occur. This will allow you to identify the blood type.

The ABO Blood Group System

There are four primary blood types:

  • Blood Group A
  • Blood Group B
  • Blood Group AB
  • Blood Group O

Each type has specific antigens and antibodies. Here is a table to understand the concept:

Blood Group Antibody Type Present Antigen Type Present
A Anti-B antibodies A antigens
B Anti-A antibodies B antigens
AB No antibodies A and B antigens
O Anti-A and Anti-B antibodies No antigens

Every blood type has the same antigens as the group and antibodies of the opposite group. These components play an integral part in identifying the blood type.

If you add anti-A antibodies to blood group A, they will clump with the A antigens to destroy them. This will show a reaction on the glass slide indicating that the blood type is A.

This is also why giving the wrong blood to a patient can be life-threatening. If you're blood group B but give A type, the antibodies in your system will attack the red blood cells of blood group A.

The Rh System

Red blood cells can also contain another antigen called RhD antigen. You will be RhD positive if the molecule is present in your blood. Meanwhile, you will be negative if the antigen is absent.

Understanding the two systems is essential to knowing which blood group is common. O positive is the most common type found in about 39% of people. Meanwhile, AB is rare, with an overall 5% of people having this blood type.

Universal Blood Donor And Recipient

The only universal donor on this planet is blood group O because it does not contain antigens. This means you can donate your blood to people of all other types if you're group O.

Meanwhile, an individual with an AB group is a universal recipient. This means that you can receive blood from all other types without life-threatening reactions. This is because the AB group has no antibodies and contains A and B antigens.

Final Thoughts

This is your complete guide to the different blood groups. You must know these things to identify your type easily. It will also let you know whether you're a universal donor, recipient, or none. This will help you avoid giving wrong blood to another individual.