B Negative Blood Type: Description, Compatibility, Uses, and More
If you were severely injured in another country and they asked you for your blood type, would you know for sure what it is? Every single person in the world has a type of blood that matches with a specific kind. There are A, B, AB, and O blood types that all have different properties.
One of the rarest types of blood types is the B-negative blood type. The only way to know that you have it is through a blood test. You can also figure out what type you have if you’ve ever donated blood in the past.
Here’s everything you need to know about the B-negative blood type, including its compatibility, uses, and what problems you may run into.
Every patient has their own individual blood type that may or may not overlap with their friends and family. If the type does not match, then a transfusion could cause more harm than good.
There are four known blood groups that a person can belong to. They include group A, group B, group AB, and group O.
Blood group A contains the A antigen in their red blood cells. Group B has the B antigen in their blood.
Blood group AB contains antigens from both inside of their red blood cells. Finally, group O has neither antigens present.
Your blood will also need to be matched by Rh (rhesus) factor, which is another protein that only some people have.
A universal blood type, like type O-negative, is one that can be safely transfused to any individual.
The Rarity of B-Negative Blood Type
You may wonder how rare each of the different blood types is.
The most common blood type is O-positive. This is found in almost half of all people around the world. AB-negative is the least common type and is only found in less than 1% of all human beings.
While it isn’t the rarest, the B-negative blood type is the second rarest. According to the Red Cross, it’s only found in less than 2% of the total population. Even the positive variant is only in about 9% of the population.
The problem with having a rarer blood type is that it limits your blood compatibility. A B-negative patient can only receive blood from other B-negative or type O-negative donors.
Who Can Receive B-Negative Blood?
The only people who can receive B-negative blood are those with B-negative and AB-negative blood types. Even though someone with this blood type can receive from O-negative donors, the same cannot be said of the reverse.
It works as follows: a person with type A blood makes anti-B antibodies. These antibodies will attack any blood type with B-antigens, which means that they could only get A or O blood.
Furthermore, a blood type is only considered negative if it lacks the Rh factor. It’s crucial to match this factor with other blood to avoid an immune response.
The negative in this blood type means that the person’s body cannot handle blood cells with the Rh factor present on the surface of the red blood cells. It also means that this blood type won’t have compatibility issues with people who do have the Rh factor.
Why It’s Important
When you receive blood, it needs to be compatible with your current blood type. If a blood donor is not a match, then you could suffer any number of negative reactions by your immune system.
To begin with, your immune system will recognize the donor blood as a foreign entity and attack the red blood cells. The destruction of red blood cells is called hemolysis, and it can lead to serious complications such as kidney failure or disseminated intravascular coagulation.
You may suffer from a transfusion reaction that causes fever, chills, back pain, and even shock. Even if you don’t have a reaction at first, it may happen days or even weeks down the line.
Due to the danger of giving a wrong blood transfusion, medical teams always make sure that a donor is compatible with a patient.
Problems With Being B-Negative
As previously mentioned, the B-negative blood type isn’t a common one. If you ever find yourself hospitalized, they may struggle to collect enough blood to handle severe injuries.
The more common blood types are in higher demand, which means there’s never a shortage of them. However, the same cannot be said for B-negative blood.
If you do have a rarer blood type, it’s important that you donate as often as possible. You never know when someone with the same type may need it in the emergency room. Donated blood can also help up to three people.
How to Find Out Your Blood Type
There are a few different ways to figure out your blood type if you don’t know it.
First, your doctor’s office should be able to draw a small amount of blood to test it. This is available at any routine health check-up. If you’ve donated blood, they can inform you of your blood type.
Pregnant women often undergo blood type testing as part of their medical visits. As such, you can find that information in your medical records.
Finally, you can order a test online or buy an at-home blood typing kit from your local pharmacy. The ordered test requires you to send it back to a lab, but they usually provide other information in addition to your blood type.
Learn More About Your Blood
Having a B-negative blood type doesn’t mean the end of the world. However, you’ll need to be careful to avoid getting into major accidents and requiring a blood transfusion. If you want to help out others with the same blood type, remember to donate.
Precision Labs partners with a variety of service providers to assist with your blood testing needs. Our blood testing services are suitable for assisted living facilities, traveling physicians, home health agencies, and more.
Contact us today to speak with a team member and learn more.