Everyone Should Know Their Blood Type: 3 Ways to Find Out Yours

Knowing your blood type is important. I was recently filling out a volunteer application and was asked to provide mine blood group. Fortunately, I knew off the top of my head that I am type O positive, but I wanted to find documentation to confirm it. I called my mom to see if the blood type is on my birth certificate, no luck. I checked my doctor’s health portal, no luck either.

So how does someone find out their blood type if they don’t already know it?

If you have no idea what your type is, you’re not alone. According to a 2019 CBS News poll, only 66% of Americans reported knowing their blood type. Considering your blood type can be vital to understanding your health, including your own heart health — and, of course, saving you in case of an emergency — it’s important to know what kind of blood runs through your veins. Finding out your blood type is relatively simple. Here are three simple ways to find out your blood type.

Read also: 5 Unexpected Reasons You Get So Many Mosquito Bites: Blood Type, Clothes, and More

Basic concepts of blood group

Blood type is classified into one of these eight groups: A-positive, A-negative, B-positive, B-negative, O-positive, O-negative, AB-positive, and AB-negative. But what determines blood type and what does this blood type mean?

Blood types are determined by antigens, a substance that triggers an immune response, on the surface of red blood cells. There are ABO antigens, which designate the ABO blood types. This is determined by the ABO gene. For example:

  • Type A the blood group has the A antigen
  • Type B the blood group has the B antigen
  • Type AB Blood group has both A and B antigen
  • Type O does not produce any A or B antigens

There are also Rhesus (Rh) antigens, which determine whether the blood is “positive” or “negative”. If you have Rh proteins on the surface of your red blood cells, you are Rh positive. If you do not have Rh proteins on the surface of your red blood cells, you have negative blood.

Blood type is classified into one of these eight groups: A-positive, A-negative, B-positive, B-negative, O-positive, O-negative, AB-positive, and AB-negative.

Ekachai Lohacamonchai/EyeEm/Getty Images

How can you spell your blood?

Here are three main ways to type blood:

  • Have your doctor do a blood test
  • give blood
  • Use a home blood test

1. Clinical trial

One of the easiest and most effective ways to determine your blood type is to have your doctor perform a test. A professional will draw blood and then perform two tests on the blood sample: forward typing and reverse typing.

During direct typing, the blood sample is mixed with antibodies against blood types A and B. Depending on whether the blood cells bind when mixed with the antibodies, your blood type can be determined by from here If your blood cells bind when mixed with antibodies against type B blood, you have type B blood. If your blood cells bind when mixed with antibodies against type A blood, you have type A blood.

To confirm the result, the next step is reverse typing, meaning the sample of blood without red blood cells, called serum, is mixed with blood cells of type A and B. Type A blood will have antibodies against the type B blood in the sample and type B blood will have antibodies against type A blood. Type O blood will contain antibodies against type A and type B. Therefore, if adhesion occurs when the serum mixes with type B blood cells, you have type A blood, and if adhesion occurs when the serum mixes with type A blood cells, you have type B blood.

I recommend that you call your doctor’s office to see how much a blood type test costs out of pocket and if it is covered by insurance.

2. Donate blood

This is an easy and free way to determine your blood type, but the results are not immediate.

If you donate to a blood drive, you can only ask the staff about your blood type. Blood is usually not tested immediately, so it may take several weeks to get results.

EldonCard blood type analysis

With home kits, you can determine your blood type in the comfort of your own home in just a few minutes.

EldonCard

3. Blood test at home

Home tests are relatively simple. You’ll usually start by wiping your finger with an alcohol wipe and then you’ll need to prick your finger with a disposable lancet to draw blood. You will then clean the blood on the card provided. Depending on how the blood dries, clumps, or spreads, you can compare your blood spot to a score card. In a few minutes, you will be able to determine your blood type.

More for your well-being

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or health advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have about a medical condition or health goals.

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