Blood Type Test

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: ABO Grouping and Rh Typing, Blood Type, Type and Group

Abo Group

Rh Type

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The Blood Type Test test contains 1 test with 2 biomarkers.

Brief Description: The blood type test, also known as the ABO Group and Rh type test, is a blood test that is used to determine which blood group and Rh type you are.

Also Known As: ABO Group and Rh Type test, Blood group test, blood group and Rh type test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Whole Blood

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Blood Type test ordered?

All donated blood undergoes ABO grouping and Rh typing. They're also used when someone needs a blood transfusion. The following conditions or circumstances may necessitate a transfusion:

  • Anemia that is severe, as well as anemia-causing illnesses such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia
  • During or after surgery when you have bleeding
  • Trauma or injury
  • Excessive blood loss 
  • Chemotherapy and  cancer
  • Hemophilia and similar bleeding disorders

When a woman becomes pregnant, she is tested to see if she is Rh negative or positive. Soon after birth, all newborn babies of Rh-negative mothers are tested for ABO and Rh to see if the mother need Rh immune globulin.

When an individual becomes a candidate to receive an organ, tissue, or bone marrow transplant, or when a person decides to become a donor, blood typing may be required. It's one of the first of several tests used to see if a possible donor and recipient are a good match.

Blood type is sometimes used as part of the process of determining whether or not someone is a blood relative.

What does a Blood Type blood test check for?

The markers or antigens on the surface of red blood cells are used to determine blood types. The A and B antigens are two primary antigens or surface identifiers on human RBCs. Rh is another essential surface antigen. Blood typing determines a person's ABO blood group and Rh type by detecting the presence or absence of these antigens.

Blood group A is made up of people who have A antigens in their red blood cells, blood group B is made up of people who have B antigens in their red blood cells, blood group AB is made up of people who have both A and B antigens in their red blood cells, and blood group O is made up of people who don't have either of these markers.

A person's blood type is Rh+ if the Rh protein is present on red blood cells; if it is not, the person's blood type is Rh-.

Our bodies develop antibodies against antigens A and B that aren't found on our red blood cells. Anti-B antibodies are directed against the B antigens on red blood cells in people with blood type A, while anti-A antibodies are directed against the A antigens in people with blood type B. People with type AB blood do not have either of these antibodies, whereas people with type O blood do.

These antibodies are helpful in detecting a person's blood type and determining which blood kinds he or she can safely receive. If a person with antibodies directed against the B antigen, for example, is transfused with type B blood, his or her own antibodies will attack and kill the transfused red blood cells, resulting in serious and perhaps fatal consequences. As a result, matching a person's blood type to the blood that will be transfused is crucial.

Antibodies to Rh are not created spontaneously, unlike antibodies to A and B antigens. That is, Rh antibodies form only when a person without Rh factor on their red blood cells is exposed to Rh positive red blood cells. When a Rh-negative mother is pregnant with a Rh-positive kid, or when a Rh-negative individual is transfused with Rh-positive blood, this might happen during pregnancy or birth. In either instance, the first encounter to the Rh antigen may not trigger a robust immune response to Rh positive cells, but subsequent exposures may result in severe reactions.

Lab tests often ordered with a Blood Type test:

When a Blood Type test is ordered, it may be part of various medical evaluations. Here are some tests and assessments commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: Provides a broad picture of overall blood health, including red and white blood cells and platelets.
    • Why Is It Ordered: A CBC can give information about the general health of the blood and is essential in cases where transfusion might be necessary (e.g., anemia, surgery, trauma).
  2. Antibody Screening (Indirect Coombs test):

    • Purpose: To detect antibodies in the blood that might react against transfused blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To ensure safe transfusion by identifying any antibodies that might react with donor blood.
  3. Direct Coombs Test:

    • Purpose: To detect antibodies attached to the surface of red blood cells.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Often used in newborns to test for hemolytic disease of the newborn or in cases of autoimmune hemolytic anemia.
  4. Reticulocyte Count:

    • Purpose: Measures the number of young red blood cells in the blood.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate bone marrow function, especially in cases of anemia or after a blood transfusion.
  5. Blood Typing of Family Members:

    • Purpose: In cases of blood transfusion or organ transplantation, family members may be tested to determine compatibility.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Family members may be potential donors, and their blood types need to be compatible with the recipient.
  6. Iron Studies:

    • Purpose: To assess iron status in the body.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate for conditions like iron deficiency anemia, which may require blood transfusion.
  7. HLA Typing:

    • Purpose: For organ transplantation compatibility testing.
    • Why Is It Ordered: While not directly related to blood transfusion, it's critical in organ transplant situations to ensure donor-recipient compatibility.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Blood Type test, provide a comprehensive view of an individual’s blood characteristics and are essential for safe blood transfusion practices, effective management of pregnancy-related Rh incompatibility, and other medical scenarios requiring blood compatibility. The selection of these tests will depend on the individual's specific medical situation and the reasons for blood typing.

Conditions where a Blood Type test is recommended:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Pregnancy

How does my health care provider use a Blood Type test?

Blood typing is used to determine a person's blood group, including whether they are blood group A, B, AB, or O, as well as whether they are Rh positive or negative.

Blood typing can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Ensure that the blood type of a person who needs a blood transfusion or blood components is compatible with the ABO and Rh types of the unit of blood that will be transfused. Blood typing is usually used in conjunction with other tests, such as an RBC antibody screen and a crossmatch, to determine what type of blood or blood components a person can safely receive. A potentially fatal transfusion reaction may occur if a unit of blood harboring an ABO antigen to which the blood recipient has an antibody is transfused to the recipient. Anti-A and anti-B antibodies, for instance, are present in the blood of people with blood group O. The antibodies in the recipient's blood will react with the red blood cells in this individual if they get a unit of blood from group A, B, or AB, destroying them and possibly having serious effects.
  • In the same way, if a Rh-negative person is transfused with Rh-positive blood, the person is likely to develop antibodies against Rh-positive blood. Although the recipient is unaffected by this scenario during the current transfusion, a future transfusion with Rh-positive blood could produce a significant transfusion reaction.
  • Determine the compatibility of a pregnant lady and her unborn child. Because a mother and her fetus may be incompatible, Rh type is especially significant during pregnancy. If the mother is Rh negative but the father is Rh positive, the fetus may test positive for the Rh antigen. As a result, the mother's body may produce antibodies against the Rh antigen. Hemolytic sickness of the fetus and infant could arise from the antibodies penetrating the placenta and destroying the baby's red blood cells. If the infant is Rh-positive, an injection of Rh immune globulin is given to the Rh-negative mother both during pregnancy and again after delivery to stop the production of Rh antibodies. The Rh immune globulin binds to and "masks" the fetus's Rh antigen during pregnancy and delivery to stop the mother from producing antibodies against it.
  • Determine the blood type of potential blood donors at a collection facility. Blood units from donors are blood typed and properly labeled so they can be utilized for patients who need a certain ABO group and Rh type.
  • The blood type of potential donors and recipients of organs, tissues, or bone marrow should be ascertained as part of the preparation for a transplant surgery. To identify and match organ and tissue donors with recipients who have the same or a sufficient number of matching HLA genes and antigens, ABO blood type is utilized in conjunction with HLA testing.

What do my Blood Type test results mean?

Blood typing determines if a person is type A, B, AB, or O, as well as whether he or she is Rh negative or positive. The results will inform the healthcare provider about whether blood or blood components are safe to provide to the patient.

The results of blood typing will reveal if a pregnant woman is Rh positive or negative. This information will help determine whether she is a candidate for Rh immune globulin, which prevents antibodies from forming against her fetus' blood cells.

Donated blood typing is significant because it allows health care providers to determine whether patients are compatible with the blood and may safely receive it.

When a donated organ, tissue, or bone marrow is compatible with the intended recipient, it is less likely to be rejected immediately after transplantation.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The Different Blood Types

There are four major blood groups and eight different blood types. Doctors call this the ABO Blood Group System.

The groups are based on whether or not you have two specific antigens -- A and B:

  • Group A has the A antigen and B antibody.
  • Group B has the B antigen and the A antibody.
  • Group AB has A and B antigens but neither A nor B antibodies.
  • Group O doesn’t have A or B antigens but has both A and B antibodies.

There’s also a third kind of antigen called the Rh factor. You either have this antigen (meaning your blood type is “Rh+” or “positive”), or you don’t (meaning your blood type is “Rh-” or “negative”). So, from the four blood groups, there are eight blood types:

  • A positive or A negative
  • B positive or B negative
  • AB positive or AB negative
  • O positive or O negative

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