Rare Blood types are just like all other Blood types, and may not cause you any problem at all. unless you need a transfusion! At that moment you will begin to find out the full meaning of the words ‘rare Blood.’ It is seldom that the Blood type is rare; it is the antigens in the Blood that more often make the Blood rare. This is also the time that you may really regret not having your Blood tested and knowing that information, which should be with you at all times. Blood test results, Blood tests Rare Blood types, blood test.
A rare Blood type is any Blood type that is difficult to find in the population where you may need that rare type of Blood. One way of defining a Blood type as rare is when more than 200 donors must be screened to find one compatible donor with Blood of that desired type. This Blood screening process is important to avoid Blood transfusion reaction. All Blood belongs to a major group: A, B, AB, or O. However, there are more than two hundred minor Blood groups that can complicate Blood transfusions. About one person in 1,000 inherits a rare Blood type. Normally expressed in a letter or two, with maybe a plus or a minus, these few persons read their Blood type in an extensive series of letters in addition to their ‘ABO’ type. Blood types and the Cord Blood Registry. Cord Blood Registry Free coupons.
To further define and clarify rare Blood, there are more than 600 known antigens besides A and B that identify the proteins found on a person’s red Blood cells. A combination of some of these less familiar but commonly occurring antigens are absent from the Blood of an very small percentage of the population. There are also a few antigens that almost all people have on their red Blood cells, but that some others lack. No matter which case, whether an individual’s Blood has uncommon antigens or lacks common antigens, the person should be tested and categorized as having a rare Blood type. To be more precise, an individual’s Blood type is most often considered to be rare if only one other person in 1,000 lacks the same antigens or shares the same uncommon antigens. A person’s Blood type is considered as very rare if only one person in 10,000 has or lacks similar Blood antigens. Again, where in the world you find yourself needing to match a particular type of Blood makes all the life or death difference. View our Chart of Rare Blood Types. Blood test results, Blood tests Rare Blood types.
Rare blood types can cause Blood supply problems for unprepared Blood banks and hospitals. For example, the rare Blood type, Duffy-negative Blood, occurs much more frequently in people of African ancestry. The relatively rarity of this rare Blood type in the rest of the North-American population can result in a shortage of that rare Blood type for patients of African ethnicity, in need of a Blood transfusion. Keep in mind, if you have a rare Blood type, there may be some risk in traveling to parts of the world where your rare Blood type may be in short supply.
As a side note for these relatively few people having rare Blood, there exists several great tools, the American Rare Donor Program (ARDP), among others. The American Red Cross, in collaboration with the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), maintains this rare donor database as part of the ARDP program. This organization identifies donors who have rare Blood and these rare Blood types and ask them to enlist in a registry. When a need for their special Blood type arises, they can call upon another donor, also on the list, to give. The Red Cross freezes these rare units of red cells to assure their availability as needed.
Click HERE for a word on a very special and urgent need for Blood.
By the way, if you are ever asked to join this registry, yes is a good response. Someone, somewhere, may need what you, and only you, may be able to give. Rare Blood may be sent anywhere in the world to literally save a life. Rare Blood requests are received in every Blood center every day.
It is very important that everyone know if they have a special Blood type. Some patients with rare Blood types need to be transfused with exactly the same rare type as their own. We suggest Blood storage in every case of rare Blood. The Frozen Autologous Blood Reserve Service freezes Blood that patients with rare Blood types donate for their own surgeries.
Pharmacy shelves are stocked with do-it-yourself home tests for Blood glucose, Blood cholesterol paternity tests and pregnancy tests. OraSure Technologies Inc. makes and sells a 20-minute, at-home test that screens for two HIV strains using a swab device that tests saliva, awaiting the FDA.
It is also very important to know the race or ethnic background of a Blood donor or candidate for a Blood transfusion. The Blood center physician, or Blood bank technician must always be alert for special Blood types. Your Blood type is inherited just like the color of your eyes and hair. Many Blood types, therefore, are found only in specific racial and ethnic groups. For example listed here is a very few of the most common Blood types in the most often seen rare ethnic categories:
View the Example of rare Blood complexities below.
View a typical Master Chart of rare Blood types.
View the World Distribution of ABO Blood Types Chart, and a companion chart outlining Racial and/or Ethnic Analysis of People Groups .
View the Rare Blood Disorders Links to Detailed Abstracts Page.
How did I get my Blood type?
Your Blood type is inherited in the same way as your eye and hair color. That is why it is almost impossible to find a rare Blood type that is needed to transfuse an Asian patient, for example, in a donor who is white, and vice versa.
Does an individual with a rare Blood type also have an ABO blood type?
Yes. Everyone has an ABO Blood type and most transfusions can be performed if the ABO types of the donor and patient are compatible, regardless of their races or ethnic backgrounds. There are other Blood typing systems, click HERE.
Can my basic Blood type change?
Not normally. However, interpretations of results using more sophisticated reagents or techniques may lead to an apparent change. (see the following)
Can I develop a rare Blood type?
Yes, or more likely a rare component in your Blood. On very rare occasions as a result of certain severe diseases, this phenomenon has been documented.
What happens when rare Blood is needed and not found for an individual who has a rare Blood type?
The medical complications can be very serious and possibly fatal. A transfusion with incompatible Blood can cause grave harm to a person who is already weakened by disease or injury. Again, we suggest personal pre-testing and knowledge.
Normally the patient remains untreated until the correct Blood is found. Family members are quickly tested, if possible, to find a match, and intensive screening of random donors from known similar ethnic groups is conducted. If no match is found, the Blood center in the area will contact the other rare donor registries in an attempt to find a match. Often, it is up to you to know these things in advance.
Why do Blood centers not test every Blood sample to find rare Blood?
In order for a Blood center to test Blood samples to find out if they are rare, or contain a rare component(s), very special antibodies must be used. These antibodies can only be produced in humans. This is difficult, time sensitive, but more than anything, very costly. Additionally, laboratory technicians must manually perform the tests for rare Blood types in comparison to the automated, computerized methods that are generally used for Blood typing. In simple terms, the process does not pay.
What can I do to help to improve the situation?
The following items would help to increase the ready supply of rare Blood:
Yes, keeping in mind, for a Caucasian individual in North America, that the ‘norm’ is most likely O+, that complex formula, above, is an actual real life example.
Also available is DNA Genealogy and Anthropology Testing – DNA research on full-blooded indigenous populations from around the world has led to the discovery and documentation of genetic markers that are unique to populations, ethnicity and/or deep ancestral migration patterns. The markers having very specific modes of inheritance, and which are relatively unique to specific populations, are used to assess probabilities of ancestral relatedness. Available services include: Ancestral Heritage DNA testing, Native American DNA Verification, Y-Chromosome DNA Testing and mtDNA Sequence Analysis.
Exactly where could someone with rare Blood get information and help?
American Rare Donor Program (ARDP)
The American Red Cross, in conjunction with the American Association of Blood Banks, maintains this rare Blood donor database. There are approximately 80 ARDP member facilities. All of these member facilities, which includes the American Red Cross National Reference Laboratory for Blood Group Serology, are certified by either the AABB or the Red Cross and each screens and contributes to the rare Blood database.