Research shows an estimated 70% of the U.S. population, who have had routine medical care, don’t know their blood type.
One source says it’s because doctors rarely have a reason to order a patient’s blood group.
Some people say that knowing your blood type is a good piece of medical information to carry on your person in the rare event that you need an emergency transfusion. If you’re given incompatible blood, it can lead to blood clumping which can be fatal. But in researching this topic, I came across a discussion on Quora, where a “cardiovascular perfusionist” stated that
“No medical professional would ever transfuse a unit of blood based on what a patient said. If it’s an emergency, O negative can be given while the patients blood is typed. … if you do need a blood transfusion, your blood grouping will ALWAYS be checked at that stage, even if you are a blood donor and carry their card giving the details of your blood group. The reason? If I am preparing the blood for your transfusion it is COMPLETELY my responsibility to ensure that everything is correct and I can not risk the very slight possibility that someone has made a mistake in recording your blood group.”
Still, knowing your blood type is important for all types of reasons, from creating a personalized health plan… to finding the best diet for your blood type. Check out this online article from Reader’s Digest:
It’s a quick, interesting read touching on these health topics:
- Blood clots: Type AB, A, and B increases risk
- Heart disease: Type AB, B, and A all increase risk
- Stomach Cancer: Types A and AB increases risk
- Fertility: Type O reduces it
- Pregnancy risks
- Dementia and memory loss: Type AB increases risk
- Stroke: Type O has the lowest risk
Mosquitoes like Type O blood (you might want to read this before that next hike in the woods.)
If you don’t know your blood type and want to find out, this article from wikiHow – Determine-Your-Blood-Type – offers several suggestions I’ll highlight here. However, you’ll want to read the article because it gives simple instructions and information about each method.
- Ask your biological parents for their blood type (if they know it) and use the online blood type calculator or the formula the article provides.
- Call a doctor who has drawn your blood. (That sounds logical, but they often don’t know unless you’ve had a pregnancy, surgery, organ donations, or blood transfusion.)
- Use a blood typing kit you can buy online or at a pharmacy. Then it says to keep in mind that any test conducted at home is less reliable than a test performed by a professional. (Does that sound risky?)
- Request a blood test from your doctor or health clinic. (Who knows what that would cost?)
- Donate blood. This is an easy way to determine your blood type and help other people, all at once! Find a local donation center or wait until your school, church, or community center hosts a blood drive. When you go in, ask the staff if they can tell you your blood type. Your blood is typically not tested right away, so it can take up to a few weeks for them to mail or call you with the result.
If you scroll down, that article is followed by another intriguing one that tells you which blood type attracts more mosquitos. (You might want to read this before that next hike in the woods.)
Speaking of blood …
Did you know that every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood? And 44,000 blood donations are needed every day to cover the demand? Yet, according to the American Red Cross, only 3 in 100 eligible Americans donate blood. In reading their stats, I was startled to learn that a single car crash victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
Did you know just one donation from you can potentially save up to 3 lives? On top of that, being a blood donor is part of the legacy you’re creating for yourself, and an important value you can pass along to your children and grandchildren.
It doesn’t take much time to donate a pint of blood, but it does take an appointment.
This awesome Red Cross website can help you find dates and times in your area to choose from. You can even schedule your appointment right on the website.
How long does it take?
According to the Red Cross, the entire process takes about one hour and 15 minutes; the actual donation of a pint of whole blood unit takes 8 to 10 minutes. However, the time varies slightly with each person depending on several factors including the donor’s health history and how many people are donating at the time.
Donors can save additional time by using the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule a specific time to donate. Your appointment can go faster and smoother if after you schedule the appointment, you then use the RapidPass link. It lets you complete your pre-reading and health history questions online using any device, before visiting your blood drive location.
Thank you for considering donating blood, and for sharing the Red Cross link with others you know. It’s one way we can make a difference.
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