There are 380 blood types, 250 of which are rare

There are 380 blood types, 250 of which are rare

There are 380 blood types, 250 of which are rare

Everyone knows the blood groups "A", "B" and "O", negative or positive, but there are many other blood groups , including what is very rare, but how?

Rare blood group awareness week kicks off Monday in France for the first campaign on this topic organized by the French Blood Foundation, a public body and the only body responsible for collecting blood in the country.

Secrets about your health that your blood type tells you
The traditional ABO classification with Rh positive or Rh negative system includes 8 groups that meet 98% of the transfusion requirements: A+, A-, B+, and B -”, “AB+”, “AB-”, “or +”, and “or -”.

But this classification is not sufficient to reflect the true diversity of blood groups ; There are actually 380 families, including 250 considered rare, that have been counted using other classification methods.

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Rare blood types
Therefore, a person can be a carrier of a rare blood group even if he is classified into one of the eight classic groups, and discovering this requires in-depth analyzes of the precise genetic characteristics.

Some groups are extremely rare; This is the case with the blood group called "Bombay" (one in every million people in Europe) or "zero rhesus" (about 50 individuals in the world).

Professor Jacques Chiaroni of the French Blood Foundation explained to AFP that rare groups "are determined by two factors: their frequency is less than 0.4% in the general population, in addition to the lack of an alternative to blood transfusion."

In France, where rare groups are found for genetic reasons mainly in people of African roots (including Africa, the Antilles or the Indian Ocean), according to the French Blood Foundation; There are between 700,000 and 1 million people with rare blood groups. Only 10% of them are aware of the topic.

Greater diversity in Africa
In the case of a blood transfusion, these people should receive blood as close to their own as possible; Because whatever blood type we have, the incompatibility "makes the transfusion minimally ineffective, or at worst it can even lead to death," Chiaroni says.

The specificity of the blood type for a particular geographical area is the result of man's adaptation to his environment, which has shaped its genetic characteristics over the centuries.

Chiaroni stressed that "the genetic diversity is greater in Africa, where the population has existed from a much longer time because humans appeared there."

The global spread of these blood groups is linked to migration, and the populations of all regions are concerned, and Chiaroni cites a group in Eurasia "whose distribution correlates with the Mongol expansion in the 13th century".

A collection that is rare in one place may not necessarily be so in another. "I have rhesus negative, and in China I am one of the people who cannot receive blood," Chiaroni said, because this characteristic is rare there, while it belongs to 15% of Europeans.

Because of the shortage of stocks, it may be necessary to import the rare blood; This is what recently happened to a child who was going to undergo a bone marrow transplant in France and had blood brought in from the United States.

Avoid stigmatization
A person with a rare blood group can be discovered by chance, during a pre-transfusion test or during a diagnostic test campaign. His relatives are then contacted because they may have the same blood type.

Patients with sickle cell anemia, a primarily blood disease that affects people of African descent, require regular transfusions, especially urgent needs.

Leticia Duvois, a 31-year-old from the Antilles, suffers from this disease and has a rare blood type, although she is classified as "B+".

"Two years ago, my body rejected B-positive blood that did not fully match my blood type," she told AFP.

"Sickle cell disease is causing complications in the bones, with the need for more surgeries and blood transfusions. My ability to walk is partly due to the blood transfusions," added the young woman, whose association "Dreapacker" supports patients.

The question of rare blood groups is a sensitive issue, and can give way to racial, even racial, interpretations that mistakenly conclude that black and white blood is incompatible.

"Stigma must be avoided," Chiaroni stressed. "Every day we have Europeans who receive blood from donors of African descent and vice versa."
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