Here is a good question. Do you know your blood type? Do you have it on your medical record and on the back of your driver’s license in case of an emergency? Many people do not know, and perhaps, do not care to know. But with a tainted blood supply, and the ability to be a designated donor or recipient, options exist today that did not exist many years ago.
There are four major blood types, A, B, AB, and O. The letters refer to the antigen or protein on the surface of the red blood cell. A third antigen, the Rh factor, can be present or absent. Thus, the blood types extend to A positive, A negative, and so on, for a total of eight. The universal donor is Type O negative, and the universal recipient is AB positive. O positive is the most common blood type. Hispanic people have a high percentage of Type Os. Likewise, Asians have a high percentage of Type Os and Bs. In China, 99% of the population are Rh positive. I am a B positive, which only occurs once in every 12 people, or 9.4%. For you deep thinkers, Rh refers to the Rhesus monkey in which the protein was discovered.
If your blood type is . . .
|Type||You Can Give Blood To||You Can Receive Blood From|
|A+||A+ AB+||A+ A- O+ O-|
|O+||O+ A+ B+ AB+||O+ O-|
|B+||B+ AB+||B+ B- O+ O-|
|A-||A+ A- AB+ AB-||A- O-|
|B–||B+ B- AB+ AB-||B– O-|
|AB-||AB+ AB-||AB- A- B- O-|
It was back in 1902 that the Austrian scientist, Karl Landsteiner at the University of Vienna discovered human blood groups. Before this patients died from incompatible transfusions. Blood clumping was an immunological reaction that occurs when the recipient of the blood transfusion has antibodies against the donor’s blood cells. By the way, Landsteiner received the Nobel Prize for this discovery, belatedly in 1930.
We have from 4 to 6 liters of blood in our body. And I think most of you know that our blood system transports oxygen to various parts of the body. Blood is a complex living tissue that contains many cell types and proteins. It also acts as a transporter, regulator, and defender.
So, how is your blood type determined? Certainly not by a random act of kindness or eight lottery balls.
Animals are quite a different story. Our dogs have only four blood types, while cats have eleven and cows, 800. Some people have strange notions about blood types. A people are known as calm and trustworthy. Type B (me) people are creative and excitable. ABs are thoughtful and emotional, while Os are confident leaders. I would place this about even with the horoscope and Ouija board. The latest rage in diets, the blood type diet, is based on the genetic biomarkers, like how well you digest food, diseases more likely to be encountered, and hair texture. I am awaiting some scientific validation of these theories.