Blood types fall into four major groups: A, B, AB, and O. Some patients require an even closer match than the main blood types. If a patient receives a transfusion that is not a close match, they may form antibodies. Individuals who receive frequent blood transfusions, such as patients with sickle cell disease, need to receive the most compatible match possible.
- Antigens are a substance on red blood cells that help determine blood type.
- There are more than 600 known antigens, and some are unique to specific racial and ethnic groups.
- One in 3 African American blood donors is a match for a patient with sickle cell disease.
Learn more about rare blood types, and the importance of a diverse blood supply.