And you, who are you compatible with?
There are documents from the 16th and 17th centuries that describe the first attempts at blood transfusion, all of them unsuccessful due to the lack of knowledge about the particularities of blood. It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that the German doctor Karl Landsteiner identified two types of proteins on the surface of red blood cells that varied from person to person.
In addition to these antigens, which he named A and B, the pathologist observed that blood plasma contains two types of antibodies that react with the proteins of red blood cells and that he named Anti-A and Anti-B. Through these studies he developed a classification (ABO) that is still in force today:
Group A. They are those people whose red blood cells manifest type A antigens on their surface and antibodies against B antigens in the plasma.
Group B. They have red blood cells with type B antigens and type A antibodies in plasma.
Group AB. They have both antigens on their surface but do not make any antibodies in plasma against A or B.
Group 0. They do not have antigens on their surface but they have antibodies against both types.
Although this was already a great milestone for the history of Medicine, the pathologist detected reactions in some patients that were apparently compatible, so he decided to continue his research and in 1940 he discovered the Rhesus factor, present in 85% of people ( which were therefore positive) while the remaining 15% did not present it, which is why they are considered Rh negative. In such a way that to the classification of the ABO factor, the Rh should be added, which results in eight types of blood groups: AB +, AB-, A +, A-, B +, B-, 0+, 0-.
Chart of percentage of blood groups in the Spanish population
The importance of blood group
Surely on many occasions you have heard of “the most common or rare blood groups.” The truth is that there are some more common types such as A + or 0+ (more than 30% of Spaniards present one of these two groups) and others less frequent such as AB- or B- that present less than 2% of citizens.
The o- group should be highlighted since it can donate to all groups, and in return only receive 0-, due to the absence of antigens, and as an antagonist to AB + that can be a recipient of any donor but can only give blood to those with those shared by group.
In your nearest donation center they will give you more details but you can get an idea by consulting this table to find out who you can donate your blood to:
Table of compatibility between blood groups
If you want to become a donor, check our website for more details. In addition, you will be able to know in an updated way the groups that need more donors.