Blood donation and knowing the Science behind it!
Blood is critical in many life-saving situations and that it can help to treat different illness and injures. Blood goes to those having medical emergencies such as accident survivors; individuals undergoing major surgeries such as organ transplants; patients with cancers and blood disorders like leukaemia and lymphomas or severe anaemia; and even new-borns with medical conditions.
For many patients, blood donors are their lifeline.
When you plan to donate blood, it goes a long way to know one’s blood type and how it is suitable to the patient who needs it.
Blood plays a very important role in our body transport system. The Human Circulatory System consists of 3 parts; Heart, Blood vessels and Blood. In P5 Science topic of ‘Human System – Circulatory systems’, students learn about how our body system supports the daily functions. For example, blood carries digested food and oxygen to all parts of our body for respiration, and to remove carbon dioxide and waste materials from our body.
Our blood is classified into four major blood groups determined by the presence or absence of two antigens – A and B, on the surface of red blood cells. These groups are called Type A, B, AB and O.
Worldwide, Type O blood is the most common, followed by Type A. Relatively few people have Type B, and even fewer have Type AB. Doctors prefer to use donor blood of the same ABO type as that of the patient to avoid clumping during a transfusion. But in an emergency, Type O blood may be transfused into patients of any blood type. This is why group O is known as the universal donor.
Type AB patients may be able to receive any ABO blood in an emergency. But Type A patients should never receive Type B blood, and Type B patients should never receive Type A blood.
In addition to the A and B antigens, there is a third antigen called the Rh factor, which can be either present (+) or absent ( – ). In general, Rh negative blood is given to Rh-negative patients, and Rh positive blood or Rh negative blood may be given to Rh positive patients.
This following video from CureJoy clearly explains the very specific ways in which blood types must be matched for a safe transfusion.
To learn more about how we can support your child to further exploring Science topic on ‘Human Systems’, call us at 6259 4173 or email to schedule an appointment with us today 🙂
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