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Anesthesiology/Universal Blood donor and Universal blood acceptor

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Question
Dear Ronald

If Universal Blood Donor O as well as Universal Blood Acceptor AB are mixed together, Can it create both a Universal Blood Donor as well as Universal Acceptor?
If not, What are the Biological reasons?

Thanks
Prashant

Answer
I'm not sure I understand your question. Blood typing has to do with antigens and antibodies to specific components of blood so you could not mix the two as you suggest. Type O blood does not have any antigens so patients who are A, B or AB can receive blood from O but they have anti-A and anti-B antibodies so they could only receive from O. People with type A blood will have the A antigen on the surface of their red cells. As a result, anti-A antibodies will not be produced by them because they would cause the destruction of their own blood.  However, if B type blood is injected into their systems, anti-B antibodies in their plasma will recognize it as alien and burst the injected red cells. Those who have type AB blood do not make any ABO antibodies.  Their blood does not discriminate against any other ABO type.  Consequently, they are universal receivers for transfusions, but their blood will be agglutinated when given to people with every other type because they produce both kinds of antigens.

Hope this answers your question,

Ronald Levy, MD
Professor
Department of Anesthesiology
UTMB-Galveston

Anesthesiology

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Ronald Levy, M.D.

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Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. I am a board certified anesthesiologist who can answer all questions related to any type of Anesthesia with the exception of Pain Management.

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