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Student should be able to

Classify and describe the characteristics of
ABO and Rh blood types
Define and explain the blood factors on
blood transfusion and pregnancy
Identify the blood disorders


Blood Type
Blood type is a system to classify blood
based on the differences of the surface
antigens on the red blood cells.
The two most common blood typing in
human are the ABO and Rh systems.

ABO blood systems

In the ABO system, there are FOUR blood types:
A, B, AB, and O.
There are 2 factors used to determine ABO blood

Surface antigens
A antigens & B antigens on the RBC

A antibodies & B antibodies in the blood plasma

ABO blood systems

1. Blood type A:
contains A antigens on the red blood cells and B
antibodies in the blood plasma.
2. Blood type B:
contains B antigens on the red blood cells and A
antibodies in the blood plasma.
3. Blood type AB:
contains both A and B antigens on the red blood cells,
but has neither A or B antibody in the blood plasma.
4. Blood type O:
contains neither A or B antigen on the red blood cells,
but contains A and B antibodies in the blood plasma.

ABO blood systems

Rh blood systems
Another surface antigen called Rh factor,
found on the surface of red blood cells.
A person with Rh antigen on the RBC is said
to be Rh-positive (Rh+)
A person without the Rh antigen is said to be
Rh-negative (Rh-).

Rh blood systems
Rh-positive have Rh antigens on the RBC, but
do not have Rh antibodies in the blood
Rh-negative do not have both (Rh antigens and
Rh antibody), but, they can produce Rh
antibodies over a period of several months,
after being exposed to the Rh-positive blood

In general, blood typing involves determining
the ABO type and the presence or absence of
the Rh factor.
For example, B+ means blood type B and positive
for the Rh factor.


Blood Transfusion
The administration of blood directly into the
bloodstream of another person.

Transfusion Reaction
Any adverse effect of a blood transfusion.
Transfusion reaction includes
agglutination (the clumping together of red blood cells)
hemolysis (the bursting of red blood cells).


Blood compatibility
Blood type A can receive blood from type A and O.
Blood type B can receive blood from type B and O.
Blood type AB can receive blood from type A, B, AB
and O.
Blood type O can receive blood from type O only.

Transfusion reaction
Blood transfusion with incorrectly matched blood
can be fatal!
type A blood receive type B,
the B antibodies of the recipient will attack the B antigens
from the donated blood.
Transfusion reaction will occur.

agglutination or hemolysis of RBC.
The clumps may block blood vessels and cause
organ damage or even death.
The hemoglobin released by damaged RBC can
block the kidney and lead to kidney failure.

Transfusion reaction
Persons who are Rh-positive can receive both
Rh+ve and Rh-ve
Persons who are Rh-negative can receive Rh-ve
only. Only can receive Rh+ve once.
When a person with Rh-ve blood receives Rh+ve blood for
the first time, no transfusion reaction will occur.
It is because initially his body has no Rh antibodies
When exposed to Rh+ve blood, he will start to produce Rh
antibodies BUT it takes several months.
When he receives Rh-positive blood for the second time
Rh antibodies will be ready to attack the Rh antigens from
the Rh+ve blood
Causing transfusion reaction to occur.

Universal recipient & donor

Blood type AB+ve = UNIVERSAL
Individuals with AB+ve blood
can receive all ABO and Rh
blood types, because they do
not have A, B and Rh
antibodies in their blood
Blood type O-ve = UNIVERSAL
Individuals with O-ve blood
can donate their blood to all
ABO and Rh blood types
because they do not have A, B
and Rh antigens on their red
blood cells.


Type and cross-match test must
be done to ensure that only the
blood with the best match of all
possible antigens are given to
the recipient.
Type and cross-match test
involves mixing of small
samples of blood from the
donor and recipient. If there is
no agglutination, the bloods are
assumed to be a good match.

Effect of Rh factor on
If an Rh-ve woman marries a Rh+ve man, there is a
chance to have a Rh+ve baby.
During pregnancy or childbirth, the fetal Rh+ve blood
may leak into the mother's blood stream.
Mothers body will produce Rh antibodies to attack
the Rh+ve blood in the fetus.
There is no effect on the first baby because it takes
several months to produce the Rh antibodies.
However, the second Rh+ve baby, the Rh antibodies
produced will enter the fetal blood stream to cause fetal red
blood cells to swell and burst.

Effect of Rh factor on
This disease is called hemolytic disease of the
newborn (HDN),
characterized by reduced numbers of mature RBC and
elevated blood levels of bilirubin.

For prevention, the Rh-negative mother will be given

an injection of Rh antibodies (RhoGAM) during
The injected Rh antibodies will quickly destroy any of the
fetal Rh+ve blood in the mothers body before she begins to
produce her own Rh antibodies.


A. Anemia
Reduction in the oxygen-carrying capacity
of blood.
Causes: low levels of hemoglobin, low
numbers of red blood cells, abnormal
hemoglobin, heavy menstrual flow in women
Symptoms: pale skin, headaches, fatigue,
dizziness, difficulty in breathing.


Types of anemia
1. Iron-deficiency anemia: insufficient iron results in
fewer hemoglobin molecules in red blood cells.
2. Aplastic anemia: bone marrow does not produce
enough stem cells.
3. Hemorrhagic anemia: extreme blood loss during
injuries, bleeding ulcers, malaria, etc.
4. Pernicious anemia: deficiency of vitamin B12
absorbed by the digestive tracts.
5. Sickle-cell anemia: red blood cells become sickleshaped when oxygen concentration is low. An
inherited disorder.




A type of blood cancer.

Uncontrolled proliferation of abnormal immature
white blood cells in the bone marrow.
Types: acute or chronic
Causes: mutation of white blood cells, viral
infections, exposure to radiation or harmful
chemicals, genetic factor.
Symptoms: tissues bruise easily, bones become
tender, headaches, enlarged lymph nodes.
Treatments: radiotherapy, chemotherapy,
transplants of bone marrow.

Any reference book on Human Biology.
Any reference book on Biology.