We do not have all the same blood group as that it depends on the presence or absence of antigens and antibodies in our blood. The recognition of the existence of blood groups was first established by Karl Landsteiner in 1900 when he released an article that mentioned the isoagglutination of human blood. After several researches in 1901 he identified the existence of four blood groups that we know today: A, B, O and AB. This was a great breakthrough as already in 1907 was the first successful blood transfusion.
How are the blood groups determined?
As mentioned the before the presence or absence of antigens and antibodies take a role in determining the blood group. Namely, A antigens determine blood type A; both A and B antigens determine blood type B; and lack of antigens determine blood type O. People that have blood type O are considered to be universal donors.
If you have still not determined your blood type you should do it quickly as this can save your life or you can save another one. The type O blood donors are the most valuable ones as they can give their blood to people with other blood types.
There are 8 blood groups in total: O +, A +, B +, AB +, O-, A-, B- and AB-.
The Unique Blood Group O
- The importance of determining the blood group
Blood classification is done on the basis of the presence and absence of antigens in the blood. Antigens activate the immune system’s response when foreign substances are introduced into the body and if the blood transfusion is done with a non-suitable blood type these antigens cause the immune system to attack the transfused blood.
- The special blood type O
Blood group O contains only antibodies A and B, and none of the A or B antigens in the blood. The most common blood group is O +, in fact around 35- 55% of people have this blood type.
- Universal donors
Group O is needed for emergency transfusions or for the newborns. The reason for that is that the immune system of the recipient cannot react and attack the blood transfused. Here it is how other groups can donate blood:
- Group A can donate blood to group A and B
- Group B to group B and AB
- Group AB to AB people
- Group O to all other groups.
- Blood type O can receive only its own blood type
Although they can donate to the other groups of blood type, people of the O + type blood group can only receive blood from type O and O + people. On the other hand, the type O blood group patients have the capacity to receive only O type blood, but if there is an emergency the O + blood group may be used as a substitute.
- Health risks of blood type O
Scientists have done a large number of researches how out blood type can determine our health. For instance, it was demonstrated that the people belonging to the type O blood group were more susceptible to certain bacterial and viral infections than other blood groups.
- Health advantages of blood type O
Researchers have revealed that people belonging to type O blood group are at lowest risk of developing a coronary heart disease when compared to other groups. Furthermore, people who do not have this blood group are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.