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Blood Types and Compatibility

A Human's Red blood cells (RBCs) have a set of Antigens on them. The two especially important antigens called A and B. A person has either one or both or neither on the RBCs.

A person with Blood Group A is so because he has antigen A. Antigen B makes a person's Blood group B. If a person has both antigens, he is group AB and if he has neither, the blood group is O.

Antibodies against these two Antigens are found in the blood Plasma. Antibody or Anti A acts against antigen A. The other Anti B acts against antigen B. The antibodies in a human's blood plasma are always the opposite of the antigens on the RBCs. For example, Blood Groups A, B, AB and O have Antigens A, B, A&B and None respectively. The respective Antibodies are Anti B, Anti A, None and Anti A & Anti B.

During Transfusions Blood Matching has to be done. For example if a person of blood group A is given blood from a donor with blood group B, his anti B Antibodies will stick to the B Antigens on the ‘imported’ red blood cells entering his body. This makes the donated red cells stick together or Agglutinate, which can be fatal. So it is very important in blood transfusion that only that blood group is infused whose red cell do not carry an Antigen which be attacked by his own Antibodies. Group O blood has neither A and B Antigens, so this blood can be given to anyone. Hence persons of blood group O are also called Universal Donors. Group AB blood has neither Anti A nor Anti B Antibodies, so any blood can be transfused into it. hence persons with blood group AB are also called Universal Recipients.

Blood Type Compatibility Chart

Type of Recipient Donor Can Be For:
Red Cells Whole Blood Plasma
O +ve O +ve
O -ve
O +ve
O -ve
Any O, A, B or AB
O -ve O -ve O -ve Any O, A, B or AB
A +ve Any
A +ve, A -ve,
O +ve or O -ve
Any A +ve or A -ve Any A or AB
A -ve Any
A -ve or O -ve
A -ve Any A or AB
B +ve Any
B +ve, B -ve,
O +ve or O -ve
Any B +ve or B -ve Any B or AB
B -ve Any
B -ve or O -ve
B -ve Any B or AB
AB +ve Any
AB +ve, AB -ve
A +ve, A -ve
B +ve ,B -ve
O +ve or O-ve
Any AB +ve or AB -ve Any AB
AB -ve Any
AB -ve,
A -ve,
B -ve or
O -ve
AB -ve AB


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