Finding out your blood type can be a simple process and there are different ways to do it. You can get tested by your doctor, do an at home blood type test, or get the information when donating blood.
A blood type is made up of two blood groups. These are Rh and ABO. The type is based on antigens found on the surface of the blood cells. An antigen is a substance that will trigger an immune response by the body against the substance. ABO blood types group the blood by the presence of specific antigens. For example, Type A has the A antigen. You are Type B if the blood has the B antigen. Type AB has both the antigens and Type O doesn’t have either. Once your ABO blood type has been figured out you can define it further by looking that the Rh factor. If you are Rh-positive then the Rh antigens have Rh-positive blood. When you include the Rh factor in blood type, there are eight blood types identified.
How Is Testing Done?
There are different ways you can test your blood type.
At the Doctor: If you go to the doctor’s office, lab, or hospital then someone who is trained to draw blood uses a needle to draw blood from your hand or arm. The blood is then mixed with antibodies so the reaction can be noticed. For example, if the blood cells clump together when combined with antibodies against Type B blood then you have Type A blood. The blood is then mixed with an anti-Rh serum. If the blood cells respond by clumping together, you are considered to have Rh-positive blood.
At Home Blood Type Test: With this type of test, you are asked to prick your finger and then put the drops of the blood on a card. After putting the blood on the card, you observe the area where blood spreads or clumps and then match the reactions to those that are included in the guide. There are some home testing kits that have vials of fluid for your blood instead of a card. Be sure to follow instructions for an at home blood type test in order to get accurate results. There are blood type testing kits where you can use saliva,but they are usually more expensive. Not everyone can use these kits since you have to determine if you are a secretor and secrete blood group antigens in your other bodily fluids.
Donating Blood: If you want to find out your blood type for free then you can donate blood. Ask the staff if they can tell you your blood type. You may not get your blood type right away and may have to wait a few weeks since the blood may not be tested immediately.