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What are human blood groups?
What is Rh(D) factor?
Why a certain type of blood can or cant
be transfused to other type?
Country wise distribution of groups.
Community wise distribution of groups.
Check your family for blood groups.

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Blood Groups
A blood type (also called a blood group)
is a classification of blood based on the
presence or absence of inherited antigenic
substances on the surface of red blood
cells (RBCs).
There are four major blood types. A, B, AB
and O. O group is also known as zero
group in some countries.

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What is an antigen and an antibody?
An antigen (from antibody generator) is a
substance that prompts the generation of
antibodies and can cause an immune response
Antibodies (also known as immunoglobulins,
abbreviated Ig) are gamma globulin proteins that
are found in blood or other bodily fluids of
vertebrates, and are used by the immune
system to identify and neutralize foreign objects,
such as bacteria and viruses.

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Blood, antigens and antibodies
Antigens are present on surface of blood cells
(RBC-Scientific name: Erythrocyte).
Antibodies are present in plasma of blood.
Group A blood has antigen A and antibody B.
Group B blood has antigen B and antibody A.
Group AB blood has antigen AB but no
Group O blood does not have any antigen but
has antibody AB
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Antigen antibody table

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Structure of antigens

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N- Acetylglucosamine
N-Acetylglucosamine (N-Acetyl-D-
Glucosamine, or GlcNAc, or NAG) is a
monosaccharide derivative of glucose. It is
an amide between glucosamine and
acetic acid. It has a molecular formula of
C8H15NO6, a molar mass of 221.21 g/mol,
and it is significant in several biological

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N- Acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc)

N- Acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc), is an
amino sugar derivative of galactose.
In humans it is the terminal carbohydrate
forming the antigen of blood group A.

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Fucose is a hexose deoxy sugar with the
chemical formula C6H12O5.
Fucose at the non-reducing termini linked
-1,2 to galactose forms the H antigen,
the substructure of the A and B blood
group antigens.

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Antigen antibody reaction
Antigen and antibody are like lock and
Antigen when comes in contact with
corresponding antibody, they bond
together to give an agglutination reaction.
In case of blood in can be seen as an
agglutination or as a hemolytic reaction. In
hemolytic reaction RBCs break and blood
no more remains blood but is seen as a
dark red transparent fluid.
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Agglutination and groups
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Red blood cell compatibility
Blood group AB individuals have both A
and B antigens on the surface of their
RBCs, and their blood serum does not
contain any antibodies against either A or
B antigen. Therefore, an individual with
type AB blood can receive blood from any
group (with AB being preferable), but can
donate blood only to another type AB
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Red blood cell compatibility
Blood group A individuals have the A
antigen on the surface of their RBCs, and
blood serum containing IgM antibodies
against the B antigen. Therefore, a group
A individual can receive blood only from
individuals of groups A or O (with A being
preferable), and can donate blood to
individuals with type A or AB.

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Red blood cell compatibility
Blood group O (or blood group zero in some
countries) individuals do not have either A or B
antigens on the surface of their RBCs, but their
blood serum contains IgM anti-A antibodies and anti-
B antibodies against the A and B blood group
antigens. Therefore, a group O individual can receive
blood only from a group O individual, but can donate
blood to individuals of any ABO blood group (ie A, B,
O or AB). If anyone needs a blood transfusion in a
dire emergency, and if the time taken to process the
recipient's blood would cause a detrimental delay, O
Negative blood can be issued.

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Red blood cell compatibility

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Universal Donors and universal
With regard to transfusions of whole blood or packed red
blood cells, individuals with type O negative blood are
often called universal donors, and those with type AB
positive blood are called universal recipients;
however, these terms are only generally true with
respect to possible reactions of the recipient's anti-A and
anti-B antibodies to transfused red blood cells, and also
possible sensitization to RhD antigens. Exceptions
include individuals with hh antigen system (also
known as the Bombay blood group) who can only
receive blood safely from other hh donors, because
they form antibodies against the H substance

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Plasma compatibility
What is plasma?
Blood is a fluid connective tissue. It is
a mixture of red blood cells
(erythrocytes), white blood cells
(leucocytes) and Platelets
(thrombocytes) suspended in fluid
which contains many other
substances. This medium is called
plasma and can be obtained by
centrifuging the whole blood. Blood
thus can be separated in packed cells
and plasma. Plasma is needed for
patients with severe burns.
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What is Rh factor?
The term Rhesus (Rh) blood group system refers
to the 5 main Rhesus antigens (C, c, D, E and e) as
well as the many other less frequent Rhesus
antigens. The terms Rhesus factor and Rh factor
are equivalent and refer to the Rh D antigen only.
The Rhesus system is named after the Rhesus
Macaque, following experiments by Karl
Landsteiner and Alexander S. Wiener, which
showed that rabbits, when immunized with rhesus
monkey red cells, produce an antibody that also
agglutinates the red blood cells of many humans.
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Pregnancy and Rh factor or Rh
During pregnancy or, more likely, during delivery
your blood and the baby's blood may mix. If
you're Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive,
your body may produce Rh antibodies to fight the
baby's blood. The antibodies are generally harmless
during the first pregnancy. However, if you have a
subsequent pregnancy with an Rh positive baby,
your Rh antibodies may attack the baby's red blood
cells. The subsequent Rh positive baby may develop
Rh disease, a life-threatening condition that could
require a blood transfusion through the umbilical
cord during pregnancy or immediately after delivery

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Pregnant women who are Rh negative should remind
their health care team of Rh status when they seek
medical care during pregnancy.

Mother's Rh Father's Rh
Baby's Rh factor Precautions
factor factor

Rh positive Rh positive Rh positive None

Rh negative Rh negative Rh negative None

Rh positive Rh negative Could be Rh None

positive or Rh
Rh negative Rh positive Could be Rh Rh immune
positive or Rh globulin
negative injections
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Material needed
Antiserum A, antiserum B and
Antiserum D.
Clinical slides and disposable lancets.
Wooden sticks for mixing blood with
Clinical spirit, cotton.
Medical disposal bin.
Record book.
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Keep two slides and anti-sera ready.
Clean the middle finger with spirit with
surgical cotton.
Prick boldly with fresh lancet.
Collect two drops of blood on one slide
and one drop on second slide.

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Add 1 drop of anti A to drop of blood on the left side
of the slide.
Add 1 drop of anti B to other drop of blood on the
same slide.
Add 1 drop of anti D to the third drop of blood on
second slide.
Mix thoroughly with three sticks, one stick for each
Tilt and rotate both the slides for 15-20 seconds.
Observe for presence or absence of agglutinations in
all three drops.
Identify group as per the results shown in the next
Keep records in given book.
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Agglutination and groups
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1 ABC B +ve Hindu Sindhi
2 DEF A +ve Muslim Marwadi
3 GHI AB +ve Budhha South Indian
4 JKL O +ve Christian Punjabi

Note: Students will get the groups of their parents and if possible of their
relatives. The project then would verify that groups obviously have nothing to
do with religion, but community wise and region wise percentage of a certain
group dominates.

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Special thanks to students of standard 11
who took initiative and actively participated
in the project.

Damodar G. Agni