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Blood Grouping, Rh Factors, Transfusion, Its Significance and Disorders of Blood

The blood types that we inherit from our parents differ from one another, so we all have different blood types.
The blood types that we inherit from our parents differ from one another, so we all have different blood types. Factors or types of red blood cells include the ABO group and the Rh factor.

Blood grouping
There are four blood types in the ABO group: A, B, AB, and O. A and B are the letters representing certain antigens (protein-oligosaccharides) found on red blood cells. A type-A person's RBCs contain an A antigen, while a type B patient's RBCs contain an antigen from type B. Antigens of both types A and B are present in type AB, while neither type A nor type B are present in type O. Individuals has natural antibodies to the antigens that are not found on the RBCs in their plasma. Hence, type A people have anti-B antibodies in their plasma, type B people have anti-A antibodies, type AB people don't possess anti–A antibodies and anti-B antibodies, and type O people possess both anti-A and anti-B antibodies.

Transfusion
Transfusions rely heavily on these natural antibodies. It is best if the person receives blood from the same type as their own; only when this type is unavailable should another type be given. Type O blood is regarded as a universal donor. An individual with any other blood type may normally be given a unit of type O negative blood. Neither the A nor the B antigens are present on type O RBCs, so they will not react with whatever antibodies a recipient may have. As long as only one unit (1 pint) of type O blood plasma is given, the anti-A and anti-B antibodies will not harm the recipient's RBCs as the blood plasma will be diluted. The term negative is used in the universal donor, O negative, for the Rh factor.

Rh factors
Rh factor is another antigen that is often found on RBCs (sometimes called D). Rh-positive people have Rh antigen on their RBCs; Rh-negative people do not have it. In Rh-negative people, the Rh antigen is foreign, as they lack natural antibodies. An Rh-negative person receiving Rh-positive blood will form antibodies just like a person receiving a virus or bacteria for the first time. First-time mistaken transfusions are rarely dangerous since antibodies are produced slowly when exposed to Rh-positive RBCs for the first time. In the presence of antibodies to Rh, a second transfusion will cause hemolysis and possible kidney damage, however.

Disorders of blood
Amenia

It is a condition in which you have insufficient red blood cells or insufficient hemoglobin within the red blood cells. Amenia comes in many forms. Lack of dietary iron leads to iron-deficiency anemia, in which there is not enough iron to form enough hemoglobin. The hemoglobin level of a person with this type of anemia will be below normal and may appear normal in terms of RBC count and hematocrit.

There are four forms of anemia that include:
  1. Sickle-cell anemia
  2. Pernicious anemia
  3. Aplastic anemia
  4. Hemolytic anaemia
Rh disease
As a result of an Rh incompatibility between mother and fetus, Rh disease of the newborn may also be called erythroblastosisfetalis. Placental blood and maternal blood do not mix during normal pregnancy. Some fetal blood can enter the maternal circulation during the delivery of the placenta. Rh-negative blood in the mother's body and Rh-positive blood in her baby exposes the mother to Rh-positive RBCs. After her first delivery, her body will produce antibodies against Rh. This maternal antibody will cross the placenta to enter the circulation of the fetus in a subsequent pregnancy. In addition, the maternal antibodies will destroy the fetal RBCs (hemolysis) if the next fetus is Rh-positive. There is a possibility of the fetus dying in severe cases. Less severely affected babies will be anemic and jaundiced as a result of the RBC depletion. An Rh-negative blood transfusion may be required for such an infant to remove the maternal antibodies from the blood.

Leukemia
Malignancies of blood-forming tissues are called leukemia. Leukemia can be acute or chronic, and it can develop in childhood or as an adult, depending on the abnormal cells that are produced. Proliferating immature white blood cells is one of the effects of leukemia. A person with immature cells becomes very prone to infection when those cells are unable to perform their normal functions.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of pharmaguideline.com, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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