Is your blood type O.
Blood group 0 RhD negative: the universal blood
Our blood contains antibodies against those antigens of the AB0 blood group system that our own red blood cells do not have. For example, people with blood group A have antibodies against antigen B (= anti-B) in their blood and people with blood group B have antibodies against antigen A (= anti-A). These antibodies would cause the blood to clump if foreign erythrocytes with the corresponding antigen were to enter the blood through a transfusion. It is therefore important that the donor's blood types match those of the recipient during blood transfusions. The Rhesus factor D also plays an important role in blood group compatibility. Thus, apart from emergencies, RhD-negative people should only receive RhD-negative blood.
0 RhD negative is the blood group of the universal donor
The Blood group 0 RhD negative is a specialty, because none of the antigens A, B, or D are on the red blood cells. This is why there can be no antigen-antibody reaction in the AB0 or RhD system if someone with a different blood group 0 receives RhD-negative red blood cells, although antibodies against A, B or D may be in their own blood. Nearly everyone can therefore receive blood cells of blood group 0 RhD negative as a transfusion. Therefore, people with this blood group are called universal donors. This is especially useful in emergencies when there is no time to test blood type. The patients can then receive such a universal donation of red blood cells (= erythrocyte concentrates; EK) without delay. Except in emergencies, however, care is taken to ensure that the blood type of the donation matches the blood type of the recipient.
0 RhD negative is quite rare
Only 6 percent of people in Germany have blood group 0 RhD negative. This is mainly due to the widespread Rh factor D, as blood group 0 is actually quite common. After all, blood group 0 positive is the second most common in this country, as the blood group distribution shows. Due to the rarity and universal application of 0 RhD negative blood, it is used by blood donation services especially in demand, even if every blood donation is extremely important. In addition, 0 RhD negative people can only receive 0 RhD negative blood themselves.
Inheritance of blood group 0 RhD negative
Everyone has a maternal and a paternal variant of the gene that determines blood group A, B or 0. With blood group 0, both variants must have feature 0, since features A and B are dominant over feature 0. The genotype 00 is then present. If a child has blood group 0, at least one of the gene variants must have characteristic 0 in both parents. The parents can therefore have the genotypes A0 (= blood group A), B0 (= blood group B) or 00 (= blood group 0). Blood group inheritance works similarly with Rh factor D, in which the Rh-positive property (D) is dominant over the Rh-negative property (d). This means that parents with the genotype Dd or dd can have RhD-negative children. Since the genotype Dd leads to a RhD-positive blood group, RhD-positive parents can also have an RhD-negative child if the "small d's" were passed on to the child from both parents.
Be a lifesaver and donate blood - no matter what blood type!
The blood group 0 RhD-negative plays a very universal blood group important role in emergency medicine. Unfortunately, there are very few people with this blood group, which is why we particularly encourage these people to donate blood. If you yourself are one of the 0 RhD-negative universal donors, motivate your relatives to donate blood. There is a comparatively high chance that one of them will also have 0 RhD-negative blood. But even if you have a different blood group or do not yet know your blood group, you are welcome to visit one of our blood donation appointments. Because we are happy about every single life-saving blood donation!
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