Blood group 0+: chemical and medical characteristics

Probably each of us, at some point in our lives, whether it be donating blood or extracting for analysis, we have been exposed to this concept: the blood group.

Knowing the blood type is extremely easy; you can request this service in a pharmacy where they offer it, or simply to be a blood donor, you will receive a letter with this information within a few days of the donation.

There are different blood groups; in this article we will talk in detail about one of them: blood group 0+.

    The discovery of this type of blood

    For centuries the functions of the blood have been a mystery. Although the doctors felt its great importance and tried to perform many blood transfusions in order to treat different diseases, in most cases it turned out to be harmful to the patient, so this medical practice was prohibited. for a certain time.

    It was in 1900 that the German pathologist Karl Landsteiner realized that the mixtures between which blood were incompatible.

    So, investigating more deeply, he discovered the fact that a the surface of red blood cells may have two types of markers (A and B antigens) or no markers. He also discovered antibodies in plasma that react against these antigens on the surface of red blood cells.

    Blood group 0+

    There are a total of 8 types of blood groups: A-, A +, B-, B +, AB-, AB +, 0- and finally, blood group 0+. The compatibility of donating blood depends on these letters and whether it is positive (+) or negative (-).

    Blood group 0+ is known because can donate to all types of blood (A, B, 0) who are Rh positive, but the 0+ blood group can only receive 0+ or ​​0-. Below we will see what it means to be Rh positive, what these letters and the number 0 imply, and why compatibility or not.

    Types of blood groups

    As pathologist Karl Landsteiner noted, the type of blood group is determined by markers (marker proteins) or antigens that appear on the surface of red blood cells, i.e. red blood cells. These antigens can be A, B, A and B together or just not have.

    Like all antigens, it reacts with an antibody that attempts to neutralize. People can have antibodies in their plasma to these antigens.

    The presence or absence of plasma antigens is a determining factor of compatibility when donating or receiving blood. Likewise, positivity (+) or negativity (-) also influences blood compatibility. Based on these parameters, we have the following groups, as well as their characteristics:

    1. Group A

    This is the blood group whose red blood cells have antigen A on their surface and in the plasma that we find Anti-B antibodies.

    2. Group B

    This is the blood group, red blood cells have the B antigen on their surface, and in plasma we find Anti-A antibodies.

    3. Group AB

    This is the blood group that red blood cells have the two antigens on their surface: A and B. In plasma no antibodies are found.

    4. Group 0

    Group 0 is the group in which no antigen is found. however, plasma contains anti-A and anti-B antibodies.

    Positive or negative?

    The positive (+) or negative (-) that accompanies the blood group is defined by a factor in the body called factor D. To have this means to be Rh positive and not to have Rh negative. This factor is present in the blood of 85% of people, qualifying them as Rh positive. The remaining 15% of the population do not have this factor, being Rh negative.

    Blood group and Rh positivity will determine the blood group or not. For example, a person without antigens in red blood cells will be blood group type 0. If they also have anti-A and anti-B antibodies in their plasma, and with Rh positive, they will be blood group +. It will therefore be type 0+ blood group.

      Compatibility of blood group 0+

      As mentioned above, blood group 0+ can be given to any group: A, B or AB (provided it is positive). This is due to the fact since there is no group that anti-0 antigens are made with, no one will react against it if your blood is received.

      On the other hand, blood group 0+ can only be received from people with blood group 0+ or ​​0-, because people with blood group 0+ contain anti-A and anti-B antibodies in their plasma and would react with it. anything that is not 0.

      Who can give it?

      In practice, not everyone is suitable for donating blood. It depends on many factors, both physiological conditions and parameters, i.e. the individual himself, as well as circumstantial parameters (exotic travel, contact with people infected with hepatitis, taking depending on recent medications, pregnancies, earrings or tattoos, etc.).

      As essential parameters, it is considered essential to weigh at least 50 kg in order to be able to donate blood, to be of age and to feel in good general health. On the other hand, fasting and donating blood should be avoided. a minimum period of 2 months from the last donation.

      Also, since men have volume (total blood volume), these can be up to 4 times in the same year and women only 3.

      Permanently, blood can never be donated in patients with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV, Insulin-dependent diabetic patients, epilepsy (and under current treatment) or other serious illnesses.

      What about the blood that is drawn?

      This blood, obtained through donated blood, is intended to treat diseases that occur with anemia, the treatment of different types of cancer, the treatment of accidents, hemorrhages, burns, organ transplants, surgeries , etc.

      It is estimated that one in ten people admitted to hospital will need blood and that one in two people living in Spain will need blood at some point in their life. In addition, it is interesting to note that only 5% of potential donors donate blood per year, very little.

      The blood, once it arrives at the transfusion center, is divided into 3 components: red blood cells (red blood cells), plasma and platelets and transferred to people as needed.

      Blood type is not a statistically evenly distributed factor in society. In Spain, the winning blood group is A +, with around 36% of the population, while AB- has only 0.5%.

      The most curious group could be considered 0-, because it is a universal donor (no one makes antibodies against it and does not have D or Rh factor either), but he can only receive from himself (Because it contains anti-A and anti-B antibodies in the plasma), and this sometimes causes problems with the supply in the blood banks. So don’t hesitate, be generous and donate blood! You will save lives.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Netter, F. (2019). Atlas of Human Anatomy. Elsevier Spain.
      • E. Hall, John (2016). Compendium of Medical Physiology. Studentconsult. Elsevier. 13th edition.

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