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View Rare Blood Diseases Detailed Information
View Chart of Rare Blood Types

Rare Blood types are just like all other Blood types, and may not cause you any problem at all..... unless you need a transfusion! At that moment you will begin to find out the full meaning of the words 'rare Blood.' It is seldom that the Blood type is rare; it is the antigens in the Blood that more often make the Blood rare. This is also the time that you may really regret not having your Blood tested and knowing that information, which should be with you at all times. Blood test results, Blood tests Rare Blood types, blood test.

A rare Blood type is any Blood type that is difficult to find in the population where you may need that "rare" type of Blood. One way of defining a Blood type as rare is when more than 200 donors must be screened to find one compatible donor with Blood of that desired type. This Blood screening process is important to avoid Blood transfusion reaction. All Blood belongs to a major group: A, B, AB, or O. However, there are more than two hundred minor Blood groups that can complicate Blood transfusions. About one person in 1,000 inherits a rare Blood type. Normally expressed in a letter or two, with maybe a plus or a minus, these few persons read their Blood type in an extensive series of letters in addition to their 'ABO' type. Blood types and the Cord Blood Registry. Cord Blood Registry Free coupons.

To further define and clarify rare Blood, there are more than 600 known antigens besides A and B that identify the proteins found on a person's red Blood cells. A combination of some of these less familiar but commonly occurring antigens are absent from the Blood of an very small percentage of the population. There are also a few antigens that almost all people have on their red Blood cells, but that some others lack. No matter which case, whether an individual's Blood has uncommon antigens or lacks common antigens, the person should be tested and categorized as having a rare Blood type. To be more precise, an individual's Blood type is most often considered to be rare if only one other person in 1,000 lacks the same antigens or shares the same uncommon antigens. A person's Blood type is considered as very rare if only one person in 10,000 has or lacks similar Blood antigens. Again, where in the world you find yourself needing to match a particular type of Blood makes all the life or death difference. View our Chart of Rare Blood Types. Blood test results, Blood tests Rare Blood types.

Rare blood types can cause Blood supply problems for unprepared Blood banks and hospitals. For example, the rare Blood type, Duffy-negative Blood, occurs much more frequently in people of African ancestry. The relatively rarity of this rare Blood type in the rest of the North-American population can result in a shortage of that rare Blood type for patients of African ethnicity, in need of a Blood transfusion. Keep in mind, if you have a rare Blood type, there may be some risk in traveling to parts of the world where your rare Blood type may be in short supply.

As a side note for these relatively few people having rare Blood, there exists several great tools, the American Rare Donor Program (ARDP), among others. The American Red Cross, in collaboration with the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), maintains this rare donor database as part of the ARDP program. This organization identifies donors who have rare Blood and these rare Blood types and ask them to enlist in a registry. When a need for their special Blood type arises, they can call upon another donor, also on the list, to give. The Red Cross freezes these rare units of red cells to assure their availability as needed.

Click HERE for a word on a very special and urgent need for Blood.

By the way, if you are ever asked to join this registry, "yes" is a good response. Someone, somewhere, may need what you, and only you, may be able to give. Rare Blood may be sent anywhere in the world to literally save a life. Rare Blood requests are received in every Blood center every day.

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It is very important that everyone know if they have a special Blood type. Some patients with rare Blood types need to be transfused with exactly the same rare type as their own. We suggest Blood storage in every case of rare Blood. The Frozen Autologous Blood Reserve Service freezes Blood that patients with rare Blood types donate for their own surgeries.

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It is also very important to know the race or ethnic background of a Blood donor or candidate for a Blood transfusion. The Blood center physician, or Blood bank technician must always be alert for special Blood types. Your Blood type is inherited just like the color of your eyes and hair. Many Blood types, therefore, are found only in specific racial and ethnic groups. For example listed here is a very few of the most common Blood types in the most often seen rare ethnic categories:

African American Blacks - U- and Duffy-
American Indians and Alaskan Native peoples - RzRz
Pacific Island peoples and Asians - Jk ( a- b- )
Hispanics - Di ( b- )
Russian Jews - Dr ( a- )
Whites - Kp ( b- ) and Vel

View the Example of rare Blood complexities below.

View a typical Master Chart of rare Blood types.

View the World Distribution of ABO Blood Types Chart, and a companion chart outlining Racial and/or Ethnic Analysis of People Groups.

View the Rare Blood Disorders Links to Detailed Abstracts Page.


How did I get my Blood type?
Your Blood type is inherited in the same way as your eye and hair color. That is why it is almost impossible to find a rare Blood type that is needed to transfuse an Asian patient, for example, in a donor who is white, and vice versa.


Does an individual with a rare Blood type also have an ABO blood type?
Yes. Everyone has an ABO Blood type and most transfusions can be performed if the ABO types of the donor and patient are compatible, regardless of their races or ethnic backgrounds. There are other Blood typing systems, click HERE.

Can my basic Blood type change?
Not normally. However, interpretations of results using more sophisticated reagents or techniques may lead to an apparent change. (see the following)

Can I develop a rare Blood type?
Yes, or more likely a rare component in your Blood. On very rare occasions as a result of certain severe diseases, this phenomenon has been documented.

What happens when rare Blood is needed and not found for an individual who has a rare Blood type?
The medical complications can be very serious and possibly fatal. A transfusion with incompatible Blood can cause grave harm to a person who is already weakened by disease or injury. Again, we suggest personal pre-testing and knowledge.

Normally the patient remains untreated until the correct Blood is found. Family members are quickly tested, if possible, to find a match, and intensive screening of random donors from known similar ethnic groups is conducted. If no match is found, the Blood center in the area will contact the other rare donor registries in an attempt to find a match. Often, it is up to you to know these things in advance.

View Blood Types and Compatibility Chart (not considering rare Blood types.)

Why do Blood centers not test every Blood sample to find rare Blood?
In order for a Blood center to test Blood samples to find out if they are rare, or contain a rare component(s), very special antibodies must be used. These antibodies can only be produced in humans. This is difficult, time sensitive, but more than anything, very costly. Additionally, laboratory technicians must manually perform the tests for rare Blood types in comparison to the automated, computerized methods that are generally used for Blood typing. In simple terms, the process does not pay.

What can I do to help to improve the situation?
The following items would help to increase the ready supply of rare Blood:

If you have been in the military, or if you have knowledge from other sources that you have a rare Blood type, or that your Blood contains a rare component, you should put yourself on a rare Blood registry (you may need it someday for yourself!);

People with rare Blood types should donate Blood as often as is practical for them; and,

If Blood donors identify their ethnic group on their donation registration card or form (which is optional), the Blood center would be more likely to check for rare Blood types common in their ethnic group. In this area, 'political correctness' has killed many people.

The Definition of a Typical Rare Blood Type

As an example of the difficulties of rare Blood, from the perspective of an actual person having a rare Blood type, following here is, stated in the most simple of terms practical, a typical rare Blood type (yours and mine is likely simply O+):

O Rh negative: D- C-E-c+e+, M+S-, Le(a-), K-, Fy(a+b-), Jk(a+b-) CMV-

This means that the individual is negative in the type A and B, so therefore Blood type O. There is no sign of the Rh factor. Then comes the list of stuff that hardly anyone knows about, except Blood researchers:

does not have the D factor
does not have the C factor
does not have the E factor
does have the c factor
does have the e factor
does have the M factor
does not have the S factor
does not have the Le(a) factor
does not have the K factor
does have the Fy(a) factor
does not have the Fy(b) factor
does have the Jk(a) factor
does not have the Jk(b) factor

Yes, keeping in mind, for a Caucasian individual in North America, that the 'norm' is most likely O+, that complex formula, above, is an actual real life example.


Also available is DNA Genealogy and Anthropology Testing - DNA research on full-blooded indigenous populations from around the world has led to the discovery and documentation of genetic markers that are unique to populations, ethnicity and/or deep ancestral migration patterns. The markers having very specific modes of inheritance, and which are relatively unique to specific populations, are used to assess probabilities of ancestral relatedness. Available services include: Ancestral Heritage DNA testing, Native American DNA Verification, Y-Chromosome DNA Testing and mtDNA Sequence Analysis.

Exactly where could someone with rare Blood get information and help?

The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross has the world's largest registry of rare Blood donors and maintains a supply of frozen rare Blood available for immediate shipment anywhere in the world.
web site - http://www.redcross.org/news/bm/blooddonation/010305a.html
web site - African American Specialtyclear.gif (807 bytes)http://www.redcross.org/ro/midatlanticblood/info/minority.html
National Headquarters
Blood Services
2025 East Street  NW  # 207
Washington D.C.  20006-5307
e-mail - info@usa.redcross.org

American Rare Donor Program (ARDP)
The American Red Cross, in conjunction with the American Association of Blood Banks, maintains this rare Blood donor database. There are approximately 80 ARDP member facilities. All of these member facilities, which includes the American Red Cross National Reference Laboratory for Blood Group Serology, are certified by either the AABB or the Red Cross and each screens and contributes to the rare Blood database. 

United Blood Services, Division of Blood Systems Inc.
UBS maintains a list of on call rare blood type donors, and an Immuno-hematology Laboratory to resolve blood cross-match and compatibility problems. They are part of an international network of facilities that keep a frozen inventory of "rare" blood.
web site - http://www.unitedbloodservices.org/
Blood Systems
6220 East Oak St.
Scottsdale, Arizona  85257
e-mail -

The National Rare Blood Club 
99 Madison Avenue
New York, NY  10016
e-mail - fls@lincs.net

The National Organisation for Rare Disorders, Inc.
NORD is a federation of more than 140 voluntary health organizations serving those with rare disorders.
web site - http://www.nord-rdb.com/
e-mail - orphan@NORD-RDB.com

Foundation for Blood Research
FBR provides a variety of educational materials for the public including a regular newsletter, reports and books.
web site - http://www.fbr.org 
69 U. S. Route One
P.O. Box 190
Scarborough, ME  04070-0190
e-mail - fbrinfo@fbr.org

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
NHLBI plans, conducts, fosters, and supports an integrated and coordinated program of basic research, clinical investigations and trials, observational studies, and demonstration and education projects related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, Blood vessel, lung, and Blood diseases
period-red.gif (63 bytes)
web site - http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
31 Center Drive,  MSC 2480
Building 31A  Room 4A16
Bethesda, MD  20892-2480
e-mail - nhlbiinfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov

The International Blood Group Reference Laboratory
A superb Members Only rare Blood donor database. This is non-public and private, available for professional use. The reasons for inclusion here are to acknowledge the IBGRL excellence and to give the many medical professionals who use BloodBook.com the reference.
web site - http://www.blood.co.uk/ibgrl/About/about_ibgrl.htm
e-mail - Joyce Poole: joyce.poole@nbs.nhs.uk
e-mail - Jackie Banks: jackie.banks@nbs.nhs.uk
e-mail - Andrew Hadley: andrew.hadley@nbs.nhs.uk  


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   last updated 08/10/2010   bloodbook.com 


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