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The term 'blood group' refers to the variations in the

structures of the proteins and sugars on the surface of our


red blood cells. These variations are inherited from our
parents. According to Malaysias Blood Donors
Organization, there are 30 human blood group systems and
each person has a unique spectrum of blood groups with
the exception of identical twins or triplets whose blood
groups are exactly the same. The purpose of blood groups
is still unknown. Animals also have blood groups, but these
are not the same as human blood groups. So, blood from
one species cannot be safely transfused to another species
and any attempt to do so would be lethal. The two main
ways to classify blood groups are ABO system and
the Rhesus type or Rh system.

The most important human blood group system for
transfusion or transplantation is the ABO system. Every
human being has a blood group. According to the Global
Network of Blood Donation, the ABO blood groups are the
most important in transfusion because, very early in life
everybody who lacks either A or B develops antibodies
against the A and B substances they lack. So, group O
people develop anti-A and anti-B, group A develop anti-B,
and group B develop anti-A. The very small proportion of
group AB people have neither antibody. For example,
group A is dangerous if given to a group O person because
the anti-A in the plasma of the group O person will rapidly
destroy the transfused group A red cells.
Knowing our blood group is very important for all
practical and routine purposes. It is ideal to transfuse to the
patient the same group of blood which he belongs to.
According to Malaysias Ministry of Health, theres 17
clinics in Selangor that provides service check for blood
group. If a patient receives the transfusion of a blood
component from a non-compatible group, their immune
system will recognize the presence of foreign substances
called antigens. The ABO system has A and B antigens and
the Rh system has the D antigen. Incompatibility can lead to
the rejection of the blood component and deterioration in the
patients state of health. Compatibility tests are conducted at
the hospital before each transfusion.

The second most important blood group system in
transfusion, though of little significance in transplantation, is
the system that used to be called Rhesus, because according
to Globule Blood Donor Centre, it was originally believed to
be similar to blood groups in rhesus monkeys, but now
simply called Rh. Rh is particularly important in pregnancy
because when an Rh-negative woman gives birth to an Rh-
positive baby she may develop antibodies that can harm Rh-
positive babies in future pregnancies. Paradoxically,
injecting these mothers with antibodies during and after the
pregnancy prevents them from making the potentially
harmful antibodies. Finally, Let us together reach within to
embrace humanity",says Dato' Dr. Roshida bt Hassan.