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    A description of rare and normal blood types.

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    Our blood is made up of plasma (water, nutrients, gases, wastes, hormones and proteins), white blood cells (leukocytes) for immunity, platlets (cell fragments to form blood clots when we are cut) and red blood cells (erythrocytes). Red blood cells make our blood red because they contain hemoglobin which exchange gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide between the tissue and the lungs. Hemoglobin contains iron which gives us the red colour. Your car rusts because it contains iron and rust is brown. It is the same reason your blood turns brown after it is dry because it too "rusts" or oxidizes. The reason for different blood types is due to antigens, ABO groups, and the Rh factor.

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    Our blood is made up of plasma (water, nutrients, gases, wastes, hormones and proteins), white blood cells (leukocytes) for immunity, platlets (cell fragments to form blood clots when we are cut) and red blood cells (erythrocytes). Red blood cells make our blood red because they contain hemoglobin which exchange gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide between the tissue and the lungs. Hemoglobin contains iron which gives us the red colour. Your car rusts because it contains iron and rust is brown. It is the same reason your blood turns brown after it is dry because it too "rusts" or oxidizes. The reason for different blood types is due to antigens, ABO groups, and the Rh factor.

    Red blood cells have a surface membrane that separates the inside from the outside. On the red blood cell membrane are proteins called antigens. They act as a sort of "flag" to indicate that they are on your side. If they had a different flag our immune system, or army, would destroy the cell with weapons (antibodies) thinking it was an invader (bacteria). Different people have different antigens or "flags" for their red blood cells and some people have exactly the same. This was first realized in Egypt thousands of years ago when "doctors" tried to put sheep blood into people who had lost lots of blood due to lion attacks or accidents. For some odd reason most people died so they decided animal blood was different from people blood. In 1665 Richard Lower successfully transferred blood from one dog to another.

    In time doctors had some success with transfusions to patients, usually from their relatives. Currently, blood transfusions are common practice for traumatic injuries. However, only in the last fifty to sixty years have doctors been able to know which type of blood type matches another and divided them into groups based on particular "flags".
    There are four general Groups (A, B, AB, and O) which are called the ABO System of identification. Each letter represents a certain type of antigen (flag) present on the red blood cells. People with A blood have an A antigen ("flag"). People with AB have both an A antigen and a B antigen. People with O blood do not have an antigen present at all. People who have AB blood are often called universal recipients. Their immune system will not attack because they have no weapons (antibodies) for either A or B antigens because they wouldn't want to destroy their own cells. People with O blood are usually called universal donors because their red blood cells don't have any antigens for the immune system to recognize as its own or as an enemy and therefore just leaves it alone.
    In 1939 to 1940, the Rh (Rhesus) system was discovered by Karl Landsteiner, Alex Wiener, Philip Levine and R. E. Stetson. Rh was another antigen that shows up on virtually all red blood cell types including O. A person who has this antigen is said to be Rh positive and a person without this antigen is called Rh negative. Often these terms are shortened to just positive (+) or negative (-).

    Since this third antigen type was discovered only people with AB+ red blood cells could be called universal acceptors (no antibodies for any antigen) and therefore only people with O- red blood cells can be called universal donors. The problem comes when an O- person has a traumatic accident or suffers a severe disease in which blood is needed for treatment. They can only receive blood from other O- people. But they also have the best gift to provide their fellow man because their blood given freely at a blood donor clinic is guaranteed to save many lives.

    Most people falls into the ABO system but in rare cases some people can have a very unique antigen. These people will usually belong to a certain ethnic group and include: RzRz in North American Indigenous People, Jk (a-b-) in Asians or Pacific Islanders, Di (b-) in Hispanics, U- in African Americans, Vel- in Caucasians Dr(a-) in Russian Jews. If you are sixteen or older and don't know your blood type you should have it checked and consider becoming a donor. The life you save maybe your own.

    This content was COPIED from BrainMass.com - View the original, and get the already-completed solution here!

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 4:41 pm ad1c9bdddf>
    https://brainmass.com/biology/human-anatomy-and-physiology/description-rare-normal-blood-types-1829

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