There are hundreds of blood types, some of which are very rare

In everyone’s opinion, blood groups are A, B, O, AB … Add to that a positive or negative rh and that’s all we know about our blood group … But it looks like we are going the wrong way and determining a blood group could be a little more complicated!

At a time when the French blood donation facility is sounding the alarm about missing blood bags, Thierry Peyrard, medical biologist and head of the National Reference Center for Blood Groups at the National Institute of Transfusion Blood (INTS), explains in an interview with Le Figaro that there are not 8 blood types there, but 352! Explanations.

How is the blood group determined?

When we have our blood type determined, biologists determine three factors:

Group A, B, AB, O Rhesus + or – The marker on the surface of the red blood cells, the K

But according to the biologist, there are actually 352 different markers and therefore just as many blood groups. These markers determine the presence (or absence) of other markers and we all have them. Of these 352 markers, 155 are very common, 69 have a variable presence and 128 are very rare. “ABO, Rhesus and Kell are the groups in which incompatible transfusions can be dangerous, as antibodies can develop very quickly and in large quantities”

But why then do we only determine three factors?

In fact, the Rhesus and K groups are most important during the transfusion. They are the ones who determine the blood that the patient can receive, and especially his intolerance to certain types of blood. However, the other markers can make the transfusion incompatible and affect the transfused blood. Patients who need regular transfusions receive more deeply analyzed blood.

What is a rare blood type?

According to the French blood organization, “a blood type is considered” rare “if fewer than 4 in 1000 people have it in the population and there are no other compatible blood types to transfuse these patients”. In an article on the Doctissimo site, Dr. Peyrard details on classic blood groups in Europe.

45% of the test persons come from group A 43% from group O 9% from group B 3% from group AB 85% of the persons are Rh-positive 15% are Rh-negative

In order to donate blood and be part of the AB Rhesus + group, we can assure you that our blood type will make the doctor who receives us smile smile! The AB group has the quality of being a universal giver, hence its importance in giving!

The rarest blood group affects only 1 in 250. And 1 in 2,500 people doesn’t have a VEL marker, which makes the VEL group the rarest of all. The bearers of this rare group can be found in Finland or Italy and some subjects live in Grenoble. In France there are 14,500 people with a rare blood type, but there are 800,000!

What are the risks for these rare groups?

The negative VEL she has can develop antibodies that attack the transfused positive VEL. And so the transfused blood refused. However, there is a rare blood database, 7000 bags are kept there and are available worldwide.

The unknown lies in knowing the VEL, because many of us don’t know, and evidence often comes after the blood rejects the other! However, it is difficult to fully know your blood type … These analyzes are only done in case of a blood disease … this shouldn’t prevent you from donating your blood type, there will always be a patient who can benefit!

Hundreds of blood types, some of which are extremely rare. Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sashkin

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