Blood Type Test (Blood Typing)

Table of Contents

Blood type test is performed to find out a person’s blood type. A blood type test is done so you can safely donate blood or receive a blood transfusion.

You should also know the blood type of your family or partner. This is important so that if you need a blood transfusion, you will not have to wait long to get a blood donor. 

Not only knowing your blood type, this test is also done to see if you have rhesus (Rh) factor.

Rhesus (Rh) is a special protein (D antigen) in your red blood cells. Your blood type is based on the presence or absence of certain proteins in your red blood cells.

People with Rh positive (Rh +) have the rhesus antigen, while people with Rh negative (Rh-) do not have the rhesus antigen.

Basic Elements of Blood Plasma

In general, people have about 4 to 6 liters of blood that consists of numerous types of cells that float in a liquid called plasma. Plasma functions to carry blood cells.

The following are the basic elements of blood:

  • Red blood cells function to transport oxygen to various tissues in the body.
  • White blood cells function to destroy by attacking and fighting any infection in the body as a part of the body’s immune system.
  • Platelets function to help the blood clotting process.
  • Plasma functions to help the blood clotting process and transport essential substances to the blood. The blood plasma contains nutrients, such as glucose or blood sugar.

The unique combination of protein molecules called antigens or antibodies is the reason why blood type varies from person to person. Antigens can live on the surface of your red blood cells and are present in the blood plasma. The combination of antigens and antibodies in your blood from your blood type. 

Blood Groups

There are four main types of blood groups and eight different blood groups. This is called the ABO blood group system. Here are the various blood types:

  • Blood group A has A antigens with B antibodies.
  • Blood group B has B antigens with A antibodies.
  • Blood group AB has A and B antigens without A or B antibodies.
  • Blood group O does not have A or B antigens but does have antibodies A and B.

Then it is divided based on the Rhesus (Rh) factor you have. The four blood groups mentioned above are divided into eight blood groups, namely:

  • A positive (A +) or A negative (A-).
  • B positive (B +) or B negative (B-).
  • AB positive (AB +) or AB negative (AB-).
  • O positive (O +) or O negative (O-).

Best Blood Type to Donate

Blood type O negative (O-) is considered the safest donation that could help save lives in an emergency. This is because O blood cells do not have antibodies to A, B, or Rh antigens.

People who have blood type O- are called universal donors. This is because they can donate blood to anyone. However, there are still risks involved in cross-matching donor.

How To Determine Your Blood Type

There are several steps required when trying to find out what your blood group is. However, it is most important if you have a small sample of your blood. When you come to a clinical laboratory or hospital for blood typing, a nurse or a lab technician will collect your blood sample. Usually, a sample of your blood is drawn from a vein or from the tip of the finger (fingerstick).

Then, your blood sample will be mixed with type A and B antigens. From there, it will be identified whether your blood cells will clot or not. If the blood cells clot, it means that the blood can react with one of the antigens.

After that, part of the plasma is mixed with blood group A and B (blood group A has A antigens and B antibodies and blood group B has B antigens and A antibodies). Meanwhile, blood group AB has antigens A and B, but no antibodies; and blood group O does not have A or B antigens but has A and B antibodies.

The Rhesus (Rh) test is usually done along with blood typing test — which is by mixing D antigens into your blood sample. 

Cost Estimation for Blood Type Test

The cost for blood type test may vary in different hospitals or clinics

For more details regarding the cost estimation for blood typing procedure, contact Smarter Health.

Pre-Blood Type Test

No special preparation is needed for blood typing. You do not need to fast — all you have to do is simply come to a clinical laboratory or hospital that provides blood group testing services. 

During Blood Type Test

A nurse or a lab technician will draw you blood from your vein or from the tip of the finger. You may feel a stinging sensation. After the blood draw, gauze and a bandage will be placed over the puncture site to stop the bleeding. 

After that, your blood sample will be mixed with antibodies that attack types A and B blood to see how it reacts. From there, it can be identified if your blood cells clot.

Post-Blood Type Test

After the test is complete, Your blood type can be determined in a matter of minutes. Once you know your blood type, you can donate blood or receive a blood transfusion that matches your blood compatibility. 

Side Effects of Blood Type Test

Blood type tests are done if you need a blood transfusion or are planning to donate blood. This test has very minimal side effects. However, there are some of risks that may arise after the procedure: 

  • Fainting or feeling lightheaded 
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Infection at the puncture site.
  • Hematoma or bleeding under the skin 

For a safe and effective blood transfusion procedure, it is very important for blood donors and recipients to have the compatible blood groups. For example, people with type A blood can safely donate and receive donors from people with type A blood. 

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