Can receiving a blood transfusion of a different type from yours be dangerous?

Blood transfusion is serious business. No wonder that in order to be a donor a volunteer, you need to answer an extensive questionnaire, which states the presence or absence of certain diseases, activities or behaviors that may impair the quality of blood.

One of the essential precautions during the entire process is to ensure that the recipient receives the right type of blood. But after all, what can happen to the body if someone gets a different variety from yours? And does every inversion cause the same problem?

The answer is: it depends! The red blood cells that make up the blood serum carry what are called antigens from the ABO system. In addition, another group of antigens influences the process, the Rh factor. Putting these two factors together we have the blood types already known: A, B, O, AB, and the positive and negative factors.

When you say that The Negative is the "universal donor, " that means that no matter what your blood type, you can receive it into your body if you eventually need a blood donation. On the other hand, AB is the "universal receiver"; that is, any blood type can donate to who is AB. Who is A can donate to A and AB, and who is B can donate to B and AB.

So if a person receives a type that is not exactly the same as her type, but compatible with those types, it is more common that no more complex reactions to blood transfusion will occur. The big problem is when the blood type that donates is totally incompatible - for example, an AB donating to an O, or an A donating to a B.

In such cases, a set of symptoms known as a hemolytic transfusion reaction may be triggered. Because it does not recognize that substance, the body sees it as an enemy and begins a combat process.

The severity of the reaction depends on a number of issues, and medical follow-up is essential. Symptoms may begin with fever, itching, hives, chills, and even mild tachycardia, but the reaction may develop into more severe consequences, such as acute pulmonary edema, which can lead to death of the recipient.

However, the chances of this happening are low, since blood type control at the time of donation is extremely strict.


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