Would You Die If You Are Given Someone’s Blood Whose Blood Group Doesn’t Match Yours?

Would a vampire die if it drank a person’s blood whose blood group didn’t match with his?


Well, we don’t know those details, but we do know that if you receive blood that is not compatible with your own blood group, then you will surely die, something your physician should definitely warn you about, unless of course you are AB+. Most of us already know that there are eight different common blood types: A+, A-, B+, B-, O+, O-, AB+ and AB- . Blood of some types can be mixed with blood of other specific types, but knowing a bit more about this bloody subject might be helpful…


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What’s So Unique About Different Blood Types?

Antigens and Antibodies, of course! To make it simple, you can think of blood as having two parts: one contains all the red blood cells and the other contains the plasma. Red blood cells carry certain antigens with a very specific job – to stage an attack whenever they sense a foreign body. Each blood type has 2 antigens: an H antigen (present in all types) and the blood type-specific antigen (A or B). The plasma also has antibodies to keep it company.

u9mbx Each blood type has a different class of antigens and a different class of antibodies present, the combination of which gives them their unique identity.

Group A – A antigen + B antibody

Group B – B antigen + A antibody

Group AB – both A and B antigens

Group O – both A and B antibodies

source: designua/shuterstock

source: designua/shuterstock

The positive or negative sign indicates the presence (+) or absence (-) of Rh factor, which is a protein on the surface of the red blood cells that further differentiates blood types.


A ‘Bloody’ Mary, Please…

Research has shown that if you combine certain types of red blood cells (A, B, O) with certain types of plasma, then they form clumps of red blood cells. These clumps obstruct the flow of blood, and much like a piece of food stuck in your windpipe for a long time, can be fatal. The immune attack waged by the antigens bolsters this mutiny, which literally means that your own blood has turned against you!

source: m.videobash.com

source: m.videobash.com

Why Does Such Blood-ism Exist?

It’s obvious that having favorites in the blood game does not help in saving lives; in fact, it makes it quite difficult for medical treatment in certain situations. Therefore, why do we have blood types at all? All blood types originate from the expression of the ABO gene. Scientists actually believe that blood types evolved according to environments as a way to fight certain diseases, given the fact that people of certain blood groups are at higher or lower risks to develop certain diseases and disorders.

The Crimson Barter: Altruists and Outliers

u9myf Since the O blood type has no antigen, the O- type is willingly accepted by other blood groups and is commonly called the Universal donor. However, those individuals can only receive blood from the O- group. AB+ is considered the universal acceptor blood type.


Blood type compatibility chart

Donate to Blood Group Receive from
O+    A+   B+    AB+ O+ O+    O-
All blood groups O- O-
A+      AB+ A+ A+     A-     O+   O-
A+      A-    AB+    AB- A- A-      O-
B+     AB+ B+ B+      B-     O+    O-
B+      B-     AB+    AB- B- B-      O-
AB+ AB+ All blood groups
AB+    AB- AB- AB-    B-      A-      O-


As for our vampire question that we started with, maybe the movies can eliminate the convention of killing them only by staking them through the heart to simply drinking the wrong blood type!

Test your knowledge on blood groups (and matching them with your partner)

Can you answer three questions based on the article you just read?

Suggested Reading

  1. Health Line
  2. Blood Transfusions And The Immune System - National Center for Biotechnology Information
  3. Gizmodo.com
  4. Reference.com
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About the Author

Rujuta has a MA in Counseling Psychology and MSc in Cognitive Science. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Cognitive Science from IIT Kanpur in India. Her primary area of interest being human memory and learning, she is also interested in the neuroscience of cognitive processes. She also identifies herself as a bibliophile and a harry potter fanatic.

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