Classification of blood type tests is based on whether or not some antigens and antibodies are found on the red blood cells. Blood type tests are of 4 different types: A, B, AB, and O. If someone who needs blood is transfused with a blood type that doesn’t match theirs, life may be lost in the process. This is why it’s critical to do blood type tests before performing a blood transfusion.
Also read: mesoplasty for hair loss
ABO blood groups
The blood groups, which are of four types, are classified following the type of antigen found on the red blood cells. For blood group A, there are type A antigens. For blood group B, there are type B antigens. For blood group AB, there are both antigens A and B. For blood group O, no antigens are present. Again, note that the serum in every human contains antibodies. Based on this, type A blood serum has type B antibodies. Type B blood serum has type A antibodies. There are no antibodies in type AB blood serum, and type O blood serum has types A and B antibodies.
Where a person having blood type B gets type A blood via transfusion, the type A antibodies present in their serum will identify and bond with the antigens of type A blood cells, triggering what is known as agglutination (the red blood cells form clusters as a response to a specific antibody). The consequence of this is a serious blood clot that can cause death. People with blood type O can only be transfused with blood type test O since inside their serum are antibodies A and B. But these same people are commonly referred to as “universal donors” as no antigen is found in their serum. And so, agglutination cannot happen within the antibodies of a person who is getting type O blood in a transfusion.
Rhesus blood groups
Another thing a blood type test identifies is what is known as Rhesus factor (Rh) antigens. This identification gives rise to another classification of blood: positive and negative. A person is Rh-positive if the antigens are present in their blood. Also, a person is Rh negative when these antigens are not present.
An individual cannot just get any type of blood. The Rh factor is a determinant of this. An Rh-positive individual can receive positive and negative blood. But people who are Rh-negative can only get negative blood type tests. Why? The antibodies present in Rh-positive blood can cause agglutination.
Also read: Top Technology Trends 2022
Blood group determination
For cases where blood transfusion may be needed, like in pregnancy, organ transplant, or severe blood loss, the blood group has to be determined first.
In identifying a blood group, two stages are involved – they are called ABO typing. For stage one, which is known as forwarding typing, the red blood cells are mixed with two distinct solutions of type A or type B antibodies to check for agglutination. Where blood clusters are formed, it shows antigens are present in the sample of blood type test. For instance, when your blood type tests A blood with type B antibodies, it will agglutinate since type A antigens are present. But if you test a type O blood with type A or type B antibodies, there won’t be any clumping as no antigens are found in type O blood.
The second stage of ABO typing which is the second stage is known as reverse typing. It is used to check how precise the forward typing is. Here, different solutions of type A and type B blood are mixed with plasma. It checks for clumping to know if the outcome of the forward typing is true.
Just like ABO typing, Rh typing is almost the same thing. Here, RhD antibodies are used to test a sample of blood, if blood clusters form, it shows antigens are present, and the person is Rh-positive.
Women that are pregnant must get a blood type test in London. This is paramount, especially in a case where the unborn baby is RhD positive, and the mother is RhD negative. The baby’s red blood cells can move into the mother’s blood through the placenta and cause antibodies that don’t support Rh antigens to be produced. But the firstborn is not affected by these antibodies. Other babies that will come after the first child and are RhD positive can have their blood cells under the seige of these antibodies, causing chronic anemia in the process. In newborns, this condition is known as Hemolytic disease. If this issue is not treated, it can be life-threatening. This same thing can happen when ABO blood type tests are not correctly matched. The only difference is that it doesn’t give rise to serious cases.
Also read: business technology trends
What will ABO typing be like in years to come?
Blood group typing is seeing a good number of advancements. This is one field that is seeing a wide application to identify the type of blood group antigens present in patients who have autoimmune disorders or those that need chemotherapy or transfusion therapy.
The reason for this is that blood group typing supplies comprehensive information on the type of blood group antigens found on the surface of the red blood cells. With this, the unclarity that comes with serological techniques can be resolved.
Indeed, the conventional blood group typing method is still regarded as very reliable, but there should be continuous scientific research in this area to develop man-made antibodies that have the ability to independently identify different ABO blood groups. With this, ABO blood typing can transcend into a higher sphere of science-oriented technology.
Humans at some point in life need a blood transfusion, and because of the differences in genetic makeup, it is imperative that whatever blood one is to receive or donate be tested to ensure it’s a good match. At Blood London, we offer private blood type tests for all our patients who should have it. If you would like to get your blood type tested, do not hesitate to book an appointment with us.