Thursday, 22 January 2015

IMA Rare Blood Group Online Blood Bank Directory

IMA has started an online voluntary rare group blood bank, where a list of all rare blood groups will be displayed.

IMA has appealed to all people with rare blood groups, especially the Bombay blood group to pass on their name, address, email and mobile numbers so that the same can be uploaded on the IMA website.

People with rare blood groups can often be given a blood, when needed, only from people with the same blood group. And in life threatening such a website directory will come handy to save lives.

What is a rare blood group?

A: A rare blood is the one that, on the basis of the blood group characteristics, which is found in a frequency of 1: 1000 random samples in a given population. From blood transfusion point of  view, a rare blood is the one with red cells lacking a high-frequency blood group antigen.  Besides, a blood that lacks multiple common antigens may also be considered as a rare since such donor's blood may be useful for the transfusion recipient who has developed multiple antibodies to corresponding antigen.

Are rare blood groups present all over the world?

No. Rare nature of a blood type may vary from one country  to another and therefore a blood type rare in one country may not be considered rare in another.

Which is the commonest rare blood group in India?

Bombay blood group.
Bombay (Oh) phenotype. Bombay hh.

Why it is called Bombay blood group?
The Bombay phenotype is found almost exclusively in individuals from India, with an incidence of 1/10,000.

What is lacking in Bombay blood group?

In the Bombay phenotype, fucosyl transferase, which conveys H antigen specificity, is lacking. Since the H antigen is the building block for the A and B antigens, neither A nor B can be produced, even in the presence of their respective transferase enzymes. Thus, red cells of the Bombay phenotype lack A, B and H antigens. These individuals naturally produce anti-A, anti-B, and broad thermal range anti-H antibodies, and they can only be transfused with blood from other individuals of the Bombay phenotype (usually a relative, although autologous blood can be obtained by apheresis prior to a surgical procedure or risk a severe hemolytic transfusion reaction.

Can Bombay blood group patients donate blood?

They are universal (ABO) donors.

How will one detect Bombay blood group?

Tests would show them to be O, unless further tests were performed. Cross matching of blood from an individual with this phenotype will show hemolysis with all group O screening cells and panel cells, alerting the blood bank to the need for further investigation.

If an individual with the Bombay phenotype needs blood in an acute emergency and blood from a Bombay phenotype donor is not available what are the options?

Look at IMA website for potential donor in that city
Get blood tests done of all your relatives one of them may be Bombay Blood Group.
Use artificial blood could be used instead.
Autologous blood can be obtained by apheresis prior to a surgical procedure

What are other rare blood groups?

- D -/- D -
A host of weaker variants of A, B and H antigens
CdE/CdE (ryry)

What about AB negative blood group?

AB negative overall, though different parts of the world have different instances of blood type. In the US, AB negative is extremely rare, but not in Asia. Still, overall, it is the rarest, unless  you consider the Bombay a group.

[Compiled by Prof Dr K K Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee, Honorary Secretary General IMA 2014-16]

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