AB0, Rhesus, Kell: Many Germans do not know their own blood group

AB0, Rhesus, Kell: Many Germans do not know their own blood group

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Knowing your own blood type cannot hurt
Many Germans do not know their blood type. It would be very easy to have them determined, for example when donating blood to the German Red Cross (DRK). You don't necessarily have to know your own blood type, but knowing about it can also provide information about personal health risks.

Blood type affects risk of some diseases
A, B, AB or 0, Rhesus positive or negative? Many people don't know what blood type they have. Knowing about it is not essential because doctors will test your blood type anyway, but it could help to be better informed about personal health hazards. Because the blood group influences the risk of some diseases, as studies have shown.

With blood group B there is a greater risk of pancreatitis
For example, researchers from the University of Greifswald reported that the risk of pancreatitis in blood group B is two and a half times higher than blood group 0. The blood group also plays a role in the risk of diseases such as heart attacks or gastritis (gastritis).

Almost everyone has to rely on a blood product at some point
“Every person who is still healthy today can rely on the blood donation of a fellow human being from one minute to the next. 80% of all German citizens are dependent on a blood product at some point in their lives, ”wrote the DRK blood donation service North-East on its website. "The two most common blood types found in Germany are blood types A with 43% and 0 with 41% of the population," it says.

It is not absolutely necessary to know your blood type, but it cannot hurt either, said Birgit Stürmer, who works as a removal doctor at the blood donation service north-east of the DRK in Lütjensee near Hamburg. In a message from the dpa news agency, the expert provides information about the subject.

How can you know your blood type?
So that the donated blood can be labeled correctly, the blood group is determined again and again for each blood donor. Around four weeks after the first donation to the DRK, donors will receive their donation ID card, which specifies the three blood groups AB0, Rhesus and Kell. Other services such as Haema also send the ID after the initial donation. There are no costs for this.

Checks are carried out before each transfusion
Although some people think that they can be supplied with blood faster in emergencies if they know their blood type or if it is on their blood donation card, this is not the case. As Stürmer explained, the recipient's blood group is checked before each transfusion. "Only the information on the ID card is not enough," said the expert. It is always checked.

A case from Duderstadt in Lower Saxony, which caused a sensation nationwide at the beginning of the year, showed what can happen if these checks are not carried out thoroughly enough. There, a patient had died in a hospital because of false blood.

Blood from group AB is in demand
According to Ms. Stürmer, it is not absolutely necessary to know your blood type, because doctors will test it anyway if necessary if these values ​​are relevant, for example, during pregnancy. "But it can't hurt and it's just interesting," says the doctor.

Knowledge can have practical benefits: If you are around 0, like only six percent of the population, your blood can help a lot of people. "It is a universal donor blood," explained striker. And blood from group AB is in demand for plasma donations because it can be transfused there to any recipient. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Why do blood types matter? - Natalie S. Hodge (June 2022).