Blood is a life saver and when you donate blood, you are giving the gift of life to a patient. World Blood Donor Day is celebrated every year on June 14 across the world to thank blood donors and spread awareness about the requirement of blood and blood products. World Health Organization along with Red Crescent Societies and the International Federation of Red Cross initiated World Blood Donor Day and the date June 14 was selected because it is also Karl Landsteiner’s birth anniversary. Karl Landsteiner was an immunologist, biologist and physician from Austria who developed the classification system of blood groups. Read on to know the different blood groups and who can donate to whom. (ALSO READ World Blood Donor Day 2017: Everything you need to know about blood donation).

What are the main blood groups?

Blood can be classified into four major groups depending on the presence or absence of the antigen A and B. These antigens are present on the red blood cells.

Group A: People with A blood group will have only antigen A on the surface of their red blood cells.

Group B: People with B blood group will have only antigen B on the surface of their red blood cells.

Group AB: People with AB blood group will have antigen A as well as antigen B on the surface of their red blood cells.

Group O: Neither antigen A nor B is present on the red blood cells in people with O blood group.

What are the different blood types?

There is another antigen present on the red blood cells and it is known as the Rh factor. If Rh is present in your blood then it is called as positive (+) and if it is absent then it is called negative (-). So, there are eight different blood types, which are A +, A-, B+, B-, AB+ AB-, O+ and O-. (ALSO READ Best iron-rich foods to boost haemoglobin: Top 10 foods to improve haemoglobin levels in blood).

Which blood group can donate to whom?

Blood donation

Blood donation

If you are O-: You are the universal donor. You can give blood to all the other blood types. However, you can receive only from O-.

If you are O+: You can give blood to A+, B+, O+ and AB+. You can receive blood from O+ and O-.

If you are A-: You can give blood to A-, A+, AB- and AB+. You can receive blood from A- and O-.

If you are A+: You can give blood to A+ and AB+. You can receive blood from A+, A-, O+ and O-.

If you are B-: You can give blood to B-, B+, AB+ and AB-, You can receive blood from B- and O-.

If you are B+: You can give blood to B+ and AB+. You can receive blood from B+, B-, O+ and O-.

If you are AB-: You can give blood to AB- and AB+. You can receive from AB-, A-, B- and O-.

If you are AB+: You are the universal receiver. You receive blood from all other blood types but can give only to AB+.

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