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Universal blood donor type: Is there such a thing?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/universal-blood-donor-type/HQ00949
- With Mayo Clinic hematologist
Ruben A. Mesa, M.D.read biographyclose window
Ruben A. Mesa, M.D.Ruben A. Mesa, M.D.
Dr. Ruben Mesa is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology and is director of the Acute and Chronic Leukemias Program in the Division of Hematology-Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Dr. Mesa is also a professor of medicine.
The Chicago-area native's primary field of interest is hematology with special interests in both acute and chronic leukemias — specifically the chronic myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs).
"I believe patients' understanding of their disease is a critical first step in the healing process," he says. "I believe that the Internet, carefully used, is a phenomenal resource for patients to be able to access high-quality and valuable information to understand both their diseases and various treatments."
Dr. Mesa has been with Mayo Clinic throughout his training since 1991 and is a graduate of Mayo Medical School. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American College of Physicians.
His scholarship has focused on advancing the understanding and therapy of the chronic myeloproliferative disorders. In these disorders, he has been active in evaluating novel therapeutics, implementing clinical trials, and working with quality of life studies. He also works with national patient groups.
He has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator in 20 clinical trials for patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms or other myeloid disorders. He is committed to improving the therapy and quality of life in MPD patients. He has lectured both nationally and internationally on these disorders.
Dr. Mesa founded the biennial Mayo Clinic Living With a Blood Disease Symposium for patients with hematologic diseases. He sits on the editorial board of the journal Blood, and several other journals.
Universal blood donor type: Is there such a thing?
Is there a universal blood donor type?
from Ruben A. Mesa, M.D.
At one time, type O negative blood was considered the universal blood donor type. This implied that anyone — regardless of blood type — could receive type O negative blood without risking a transfusion reaction. However, we now know even type O negative blood may have antibodies that cause serious reactions during a transfusion.
There are four types of blood. They are classified as:
- Type A
- Type B
- Type AB
- Type O
Blood is also classified by rhesus (Rh) factor, which refers to a specific red blood cell antigen in the blood. If your blood has the antigen, you're Rh positive. If your blood lacks the antigen, you're Rh negative.
Ideally, blood transfusions are done with donated blood that's an exact match for type and Rh factor. Even then, small samples of the recipient's and donor's blood are mixed to check compatibility in a process known as crossmatching. In an emergency, however, type O negative red blood cells may be given to anyone — especially if the situation is life-threatening or the matching blood type is in short supply.
- Cohen DW. A primer of red blood cell antigens and antibodies. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Blood FAQ. American Association of Blood Banks. http://www.aabb.org/resources/bct/Pages/bloodfaq.aspx?PF=1. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.
- Goldfinger D, et al. The incompatible crossmatch. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6386826. Accessed Nov. 13, 2012.