Sarah - Rare and Uncommon Donor
Rare and Uncommon Blood Type Facts
Rare and Uncommon Blood Types Explained: Everything You Need to Know About Inherited Genetic Differences
Having a rare or uncommon blood type doesn’t mean your blood is better or worse—it’s just a genetic difference. But it DOES mean you are extremely special!
You’ve likely heard of the common blood groups: A, B, AB and O. But did you know? Besides these common blood groups, there are over 35 other blood groups and over 600 other known antigens. The unique mix of proteins and sugars (antigens) present on your red cells, which you inherited from your biological parents, determines your extended blood type and whether you fall into one of these rare and uncommon blood groups.
One of these uncommon blood types is the Ro blood type, which is invaluable for patients with sickle cell disease. Click to learn more about Ro blood donors and sickle cell disease.
The Rarest and Most Uncommon Blood Types By Ethnicity
Oftentimes, patients experience the best outcomes when they receive lifesaving donations from individuals of similar ethnic backgrounds. When you donate, your blood donation will be put to good use, likely saving someone else from your community in need of a lifesaving transfusion.
So, what’s your blood type? Don’t know? That’s okay! 66% of Americans don’t know their blood type! Simply donate blood and we will tell you after your first successful donation!
Right now, a local hospital patient who shares your rare or uncommon blood type is counting on your donation.
“Blood transfusions helped to bring me back to life.”
Donate in Wisconsin
Every day, patients in your community need blood transfusions to survive and thrive. They rely on the generosity of donors like you, who help ensure a safe, healthy blood supply. Make an appointment to donate blood today.
Explore donation opportunities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.
Blood Donation Locations
Host A Blood Drive
Types of Donations
Rare Blood Donors
Ro Blood Donors
Sickle Cell Disease
- SCD is inherited in the same way that people get the color of their eyes, skin and hair.
- A person with SCD is born with it.
- People cannot “catch” SCD from being around a person who has it.
- Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders.
- Healthy red blood cells are round and they move through small blood vessels carrying oxygen to all parts of the body.
- For someone with SCD, the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle.”
- Sickle cells die early in comparison to non-sickle cells, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells.
- Sickle cells can get stuck in small blood vessels and block the flow of blood and oxygen to organs in the body. These changes in cells can cause repeated episodes of severe pain, organ damage, serious infections or even stroke.
- Although there is no cure for sickle cell disease, blood transfusions (supplied exclusively by volunteer blood donors like you!) are a critical part of treatment.
- Many times, only blood transfusions can relieve the pain and complications that occur during a sickle cell episode.
- Blood that closely matches that of a patient is less likely to be rejected by the patient and can mean fewer complications after a transfusion.
- It is estimated that SCD affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the United States, mainly people of African descent.
- The disease occurs among about 1 of every 365 births of African descent and among about 1 of every 36,000 births of Hispanic descent.
- SCD affects millions of people throughout the world and is particularly common among those whose ancestors come from sub-Saharan Africa; regions in the Western Hemisphere (South America, the Caribbean and Central America); Saudi Arabia; India; and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Greece and Italy.
For more of the science behind blood and blood types, visit the AABB (Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies) website