A third of Americans don’t know their blood type. Are you one of them? Well, you don’t have to be anymore, and since you get an easily get an accurate blood type test kit for home use you don’t even have to go into the doctor’s office or clinic anymore (although we recommend you still do to confirm results).
Some experts believe that 1/3 number is even higher. Donald Karcher, the president-elect of the College of American Pathologists, believes it’s “probably more than half” of the population, with many not believing it is important.
But your blood type can impact numerous aspects of health, from potential disease risks to reactions to medications. Furthermore, knowing your blood type can be critical in case of an emergency.
A blood type test is a simple procedure that doctors use that involves taking and analyzing a small blood sample.
However, with advancing technology and health awareness, many companies have developed at-home blood typing test kits, letting you avoid the doctor altogether.
Blood Type Overview
Your blood type is determined by the antigens (a kind of protein) in your red blood cells. There are four main types of blood: A, B, AB, and O. Each type is also classified by a positive or negative Rh factor.
The rarity varies by ethnicity and geographical location, but in general, it breaks down like this.
- A-positive (A+): 33% of the population
- A-negative (A-): 6%
- B-positive (B+): 9%
- B-negative (B-): Less than 2%
- AB-positive (AB+): Less than 4%
- AB-negative (AB-): Less than 1%
- O-positive (O+): 38%
- O-negative (O-): 7%
There are also extremely rare types like Rh-null, sometimes called “golden blood” found in fewer than 50 people worldwide.
Blood typing is critical for safe blood transfusions. For example, if you’re type A, you can only receive blood from type A or type O donors. On the other hand, if you’re type O, you can donate to anyone but can only receive from other type O donors.
Here’s the full breakdown:
|Blood type||Types you can receive||Types you can donate to|
|A+||A+, A-, O+, O-||A+, AB+|
|A-||A-, O-||A+, A-, AB+, AB-|
|B+||B+, B-, O+, O-||A+, AB+|
|B-||B-, O-||B+, B-, AB+, AB-|
|AB-||AB-, A-, B-, O-||AB+, AB-|
|O+||O+, O-||O+, A+, B+, AB+|
Knowing your blood type can also help you make lifestyle and diet decisions, as some diseases, such as stomach cancer, heart disease, and malaria, are thought to be more prevalent in certain blood groups.
How to Test Your Blood Type
If you’re one of the many people that is unsure about your blood type, there are three easy ways to find out.
You can request a test during your next routine physical or doctor’s appointment. The test typically involves drawing a small amount of blood from your arm, which is then sent to a lab for testing.
The lab will then run a series of tests on your blood using specific substances called reagents. These reagents contain antibodies that can react with your blood if certain antigens (that determine your blood type) are present.
Blood Donor Center
When you donate blood, the organization (like Red Cross) will routinely test your blood and provide you with a card that states your blood type. This is a free way to learn your blood type and contribute to a good cause.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Your donation could even save multiple lives.
James Harrison, an Australian man, donated blood regularly for more than 60 years because of a rare antibody that has helped save over two million babies worldwide.
Blood Typing Kit for Home
Using a home blood typing kit is an easy and convenient alternative for those who would rather not go to the doctor or donate blood. They are similar to the lab tests but simpler, generally involving placing a drop of blood on a specially treated card and watching to see if it reacts with the reagents present.
Due to potential user errors and possible inaccuracies, confirming an at-home test with a healthcare professional is always best. But if you’re going to go this route, it is important to purchase a kit from a reputable company.
Best Blood Type Test Kits for Home Use
Here are some highly-rated at-home blood typing kits available at a variety of retailers:
Other At-Home Blood Type Kits
As for blood typing test kits available at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, these retailers are known to stock various brands.
It is recommended to check with your specific store location for their current inventory or consider purchasing online from their websites or other online retailers such as Amazon.
Please note, while these kits can indicate your blood type, they should not replace medical advice in critical situations, and results should always be doubly confirmed by a healthcare professional when possible.
Knowing your blood type is an important part of understanding your overall health. With the availability of reputable at-home rapid blood typing kits, determining your blood type has never been easier or more convenient.
This way, you can save yourself a trip to the doctor or hospital while learning something vital about your health.
Stay curious, stay informed, and take charge of your health!
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