How many blood types are there

What blood groups are there? A small lexicon about the AB0 blood group system

The answers to the questions “which blood groups are there?” “Which blood group do I have?” “Which blood groups are rare?” And “which blood is most needed?” Are not only of interest to blood donors. In the following article you will learn interesting facts about the blood type system. Because every person has a very specific blood group pattern, which is determined by the red blood cells, called erythrocytes.

When were the blood types discovered?

The so-called AB0 system of blood groups was discovered by the Austrian-born physician Dr. Karl Landsteiner in 1900. He received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1930 for his groundbreaking discovery that sorts human red blood cells into the various antigenic properties A, B and 0. Landsteiner also recognized that blood transfusion between people of the same blood group does not lead to the destruction of blood cells, but does lead to the destruction of blood cells between people of different blood groups. Landsteiner's discoveries form the basis of modern transfusion medicine to this day.

Blood grouping - which blood groups are there?

The different antigen properties form fixed blood group patterns and are called blood groups. These are distributed differently in the population. There are blood types A, B, 0 and AB. Blood group A has antigen A, blood group B antigen B. Blood group 0 has neither of the two antigens, blood group AB both. The blood groups also differ in their rhesus property, the so-called Rh factor. If a person has this factor on the surface of their red blood cells, they are rhesus-positive. If the factor is missing, this is called rhesus negative. The rhesus factor got its name from the monkey species of the rhesus monkeys, on which attempts to clump blood were carried out in the 1940s. Which blood groups there are is derived from the combination of the antigens with the Rhesus factor. The features mentioned result in the following eight blood group combinations:

  • A-, A +
  • B-, B +
  • 0-, 0+
  • AB- and AB +

What blood group do I have?

Which blood group you have depends on your parents. Because the blood groups of the AB0 system and the Rhesus factor are passed on from the parents to their child according to the Mendelian rules of blood group inheritance. As a DRK blood donor, you will find out your blood type around four weeks after your first blood donation. She will be with a Blood typing determined in one of our laboratories and sent to you with the donor ID.
Here you can find out all blood donation dates in your region.

Blood grouping and distribution

For the When transferring blood from a donor to a patient, it is essential to determine the blood type. In the case of a blood transfusion, the most important characteristics of the donor blood and the recipient blood must match. A transfusion must be of the same blood group, otherwise clumping and life-threatening complications can occur.

You can find out which blood groups are compatible and who can donate blood to whom in our magazine article on the subject of blood group compatibility.

With the blood donation barometer, the DRK Blood Donation Service Nord-Ost informs you on its website about the urgent need for donor blood of each individual blood group. With the help of the blood donation barometer, you can see whether your blood donation is needed on the same day or very soon.
The following graphic shows the blood group distribution in the population, i.e. which blood groups there are and which are rare and common.

Which blood groups are rare?

The blood groups A rhesus positive (37%) and 0 rhesus positive (35%) occur most frequently. Rare blood types are those with a negative Rh factor. They occur in 15% of the population, 85% have a positive Rh factor.

Which blood is most needed?

Basically, every blood donation counts! Blood group 0, however, has a special position in transfusion medicine. It does not have either of the two antigens A or B. Therefore, blood of this blood group can be given to all recipients with other blood groups in a transfusion.

Particular importance of blood group 0 rhesus negative

Rh-negative patients may only receive blood with the factor Rhesus negative. Therefore, consequently, the Blood group 0 rhesus negative is extremely important in a blood transfusion. Carriers of this blood group, which are only represented at six percent in the population, are considered universal donors. Your blood can be transfused to patients of all other blood groups, which can be relevant in emergency situations, for example, when blood has to be quickly available to a patient without the blood group being able to be tested beforehand.

Here you can find even more interesting facts about blood groups.