What do blood groups mean?


Human have got different kinds of blood group. Few of them are said to be universal donors whereas the can only take blood from their own blood groups. This is so very important that we should always have a complete knowledge about the different blood groups so that we will be able to understand the basic mechanism for them.

Blood group is a classification system that is always based on the antigens that are present on the surface of RBCs and in the plasma of the blood cells. There are many different kinds of proteins that are present and factors that can affect the formation and that is also the reason that there are different kinds of blood grouping systems. For example, The ABO system, the Ii system, Bombay blood group etc. out of them the most common and popularly used system is the ABO grouping system that is being pioneered by Karl Landsteiner. The system is based on the presence of one or both of 2 antigens – antigen A and Antigen B on the RBC surface. Here what we see is that the person having antigen A is known as type A and a person having antigen B is known as type B. however, a person having both the Type AB also exists when both antigen A and B are expressed together on the surface, and then there is a type O (a misrepresentation of the original name ‘0’ given by Landsteiner in which we have bothantigens tobe absent from the RBC surface.

Our blood is usually designated to be one of the 4 major groups i.e. A, B, AB or O. howeverthe most common blood group typing – AB blood grouping.  We have other groups aswell such as the MN blood group etc. also exist but in minorities.

Usually we will see that the blood groups are designated as A, B, AB or O and that is based on the antigens present on our Red blood cells (RBCs). This grouping is so useful and necessary during blood transfusion.so a person having a blood group has antigen A on the RBCs and antibody B in the plasma. In a similar manner the blood group B has antigen B and antibody A.  However, in the Blood group AB we will have both antigens and no antibodies which blood group O have no antigens and both antibodies.

During the process of bloodtransfusion, we will notice the mixing of blood groups i.e.transferring B blood group into a patient of a blood group leand or an antigen-antibody reaction thus this will be leading to blood agglutination/clotting. In order to avoid this, blood group is necessary. Blood group O is termed to be a universal donor and blood group AB is known to be a universal acceptor.

We will also be able to understand that if there is the proper application of the blood group levels then we will be able to see what are the blood groups that are to be mixed with one another. However, this is so very important that we know what are the different blood groups and their applications as well.

Another factor is most commonly being used and that have a greater applicability is the Rhesus (Rh) factor that is usually denoted as + or -. This is usuallybased on the presence (+) or absence (-) of the Rh protein.  When we have the Mixing of Rh+ and Rh- that will also leads to agglutination and hence this is one of the most important factors that is to be considered during transfusions. Furthermore, this is necessary thatduring pregnancy especially in the cases where the mother is Rh- and the fetus is Rh+ as it may lead to a condition known as erythroblastosis details.

This is of outmost importance that we should have a knowledge of applicability of the different blood group levels because that will help us understand what all are the universally accepted areas for the blood process as well.

The blood groups also help us identify few of the characteristic traits of the individuals and thus help us to treat them well medically as well. This will help us make the medical history intact as well.