In 1818 the first human to human blood transfusion was successfully completed. Early transfusions were risky and often resulted in the death of the patient. It was not until 1901, when the Austrian Karl Landsteiner discovered human blood groups, that blood transfusions became safer. Mixing blood from two incompatible individuals can lead to an immune response, and have fatal consequences. Prior to 1914, all blood transfusions were direct from donor to patient.
The following information is provided by the American Red Cross.
- Almost 40% of the population has O+ blood
- Patients with Type O blood must receive Type O blood
- About half of all blood ordered by hospitals in our area is Type O
- Type O blood is the universal blood type and is the only blood type that can be transfused to patients with other blood types
- Only about 7% of all people have Type O negative blood
- Type O negative blood is the preferred type for accident victims and babies needing exchange transfusions
- There is always a need for Type O donors because their blood may be transfused to a person of any blood type in an emergency
If your blood type is . . .
|Type||You Can Give Blood To||You Can Receive Blood From|
|A+||A+ AB+||A+ A- O+ O-|
|O+||O+ A+ B+ AB+||O+ O-|
|B+||B+ AB+||B+ B- O+ O-|
|A-||A+ A- AB+ AB-||A- O-|
|B-||B+ B- AB+ AB-||B- O-|
|AB-||AB+ AB-||AB- A- B- O-|
You remember when you were in the military; your dog tags included your blood type. How many of you remember or know your blood type. In a serious long-term survival situation, this information could save your life. The studying I have done on this subject convinces me that in a emergency a trained medical person could with minimal equipment give a person to person blood transfusion if they knew your blood type.
Note the use of the term trained medical personnel; you would need someone with real medical training to perform a transfusion. I am just suggesting that you and your family know your blood type. Giving this information to a Doctor could save your life. The equipment to determine your blood type probably would not be available.