Human blood was first classified into 4 well-known types in the first decade of the 1900s by Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian physician. It’s no secret that it’s important to know one’s blood type for emergency situations, as a blood match is crucial for safe transfusions. It turns out, however, that blood characteristics can also influence our health, and, as some people believe, our fortune and personality as well.
Here at Amazing Things on Earth, we’ve studied scientific facts and curious theories about type O blood and we can’t wait to tell you what we’ve found.
1. How are blood types determined?
Blood types, or blood groups, are classified according to the presence or absence of certain antigens that can trigger an immune response when they are foreign to the body. These antigens can make the immune system of the patient attack the transfused blood. This is why it is so important to know your blood type and to be aware of the safe matches for blood transfusions.
2. Type O blood characteristics
There are 4 main blood types determined by the presence or absence of A and B antigens in the red cells’ surface and A and B antibodies in the plasma. In addition to the A and B antigens, there is a protein called Rh factor which can be either present or absent. Altogether, this makes up 8 blood types: A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+ and AB-. Type O blood has neither A nor B antigens in the red blood cells but has both A and B antibodies in the plasma. Type O+ is the most common blood type which accounts for 37% — 53% of people in different ethnic and racial groups.