There are many reasons to know your blood type - international travel visas, general knowledge of your body and donating blood are three of them. In our context, knowing your blood type in order to donate blood during emergencies can save lives. When there’s a call for a certain blood type and you respond, your blood could be the difference an ailing person needs, it may even be someone in your family.
Blood type is classified as ABO along with an RH factor (positive or negative). Following are a few ways to find out your type:
- Use an in-home test kit
- Donate blood
- Ask your doctor
The four potential types follow:
- Type A has the A antigen
- Type B has the B antigen
- Type AB has both the A and B antigen
- Type O doesn’t have either the A or B antigen
Once your ABO blood type has been determined, it can be further defined by identifying the Rhesus (Rh) factor:
- Rh-positive. If you have Rh antigens on the surface of your red blood cells, you have Rh-positive blood.
- Rh-negative. If you don’t have Rh antigens on the surface of your red blood cells, you have Rh-negative blood.
By including the Rh factor, the 8 most prevalent blood types can be identified: A+ or A-, B+ or B-, AB+ or AB-, and O+ or O-.