Are you an A+ or a B-?
We’re not talking about grades – we’re talking about blood type.
Many people do not know their blood type. Even if you know your type, you may not realize that it makes you more susceptible to certain diseases.
Your blood type is a way of classifying your blood by what it contains: antigens, including the Rhesus or Rh factor.
Antigens are proteins in red blood cells. Depending on the type of antigen, your blood is classified as A, B, AB, or O. “When antigens come into contact with an unknown substance in your body, such as certain bacteria, they cause a reaction. from your immune system. If your donor’s blood group doesn’t match yours, you can have the same type of reaction to a blood transfusion. In that case, your blood cells can clump together and cause complications that can be fatal,” explains Douglas Guggenheim, M.D., of Abramson Cancer Center, Cherry Hill.
The Rh factor is a substance found in red blood cells. This is where the + and – signs next to your blood type appear. If you have the Rh factor, you are considered Rh positive (+), and if you do not have it, you are considered Rh negative (-).
Whether you have Rh factor or not, it’s only during pregnancy that you worry. This is because the Rh status of the mother and baby must match, otherwise the mother’s immune system may react to the baby as an allergy. Severe cases of Rh mismatch can lead to anemia and brain damage in children. In the most severe cases, it can even lead to death.
If you are pregnant and find out that your baby has a different Rh status, don’t panic. Fortunately, pregnant women can be vaccinated to prevent this reaction.