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Blood Antibodies and Antigens
We have antigens on our red blood cells that determine what our blood
group or type is, here is a table explaining what antigens and antibodies
there are in blood and what group can donate to who and receive from
Blood Antigen Antibodies Donate Receive
Type s To From
A A Anti B Antibodies A and A, A/B and
B B Anti A Antibodies B and B, A/B and
A/B A and B No Antibodies A/B All
O None Anti A and Anti B
People can also be either Rhesus positive or Rhesus negative
depending whether or not they have the Rhesus antigen on their red
blood cells. Most people are Rhesus Positive.
If someone is Rhesus negative, their blood can only come into contact
with Rhesus positive blood once, either through a blood transfusion or
whilst giving birth to a Rhesus positive baby. After this initial contact, the
receivers blood will create Rhesus Antibodies, this means if they come
into contact with Rhesus positive blood again, their blood will destroy
the Rhesus positive blood.
If a woman who is Rhesus negative gives birth to a Rhesus positive
baby, she will almost definitely come into contact with Rhesus positive
blood and create Rhesus Antibodies. This means that if the woman is to
become pregnant with another Rhesus positive baby during any time,
there is a slim chance the baby will survive due to the antigens she
created, destroying the foetus' blood.
If a woman is Rhesus negative, after giving birth to her first Rhesus
positive baby, she is injected with a drug to kill off any Rhesus
antibodies that may have been made, this means she should be able to
have further Rhesus positive babies without any connected problems.