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Facts about Blood and Blood Types

Blood is the fluid that flows through our veins and keeps us alive. We know that if we lose too much of it we can die. How much do you really know about blood? Blood is a substance that is thicker than water and has a slightly salty taste. Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. Blood carries nutrients, gases and waste through the body. It also delivers oxygen to the parts of the body.

Blood is categorized into four main blood type groups known as A, B, O and AB. People with type AB blood are known as the universal recipients. They can receive blood from people with type A, B, O or AB. Type O is known as the universal donor. They can donate blood to people With A, B, O or AB types. Blood types are determined by the types of proteins on blood cells. The Rh factor is a type of protein found on blood cells. If the Rh protein is present on the blood cells, the blood type is Rh positive. It the Rh protein is not present, the blood type is Rh negative.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 85 percent of people have Rh-positive blood. The Rh Negative Registry states that Chinese people refer to type A Rh negative blood as panda blood due to its extreme scarcity. The Rh factor was discovered in 1940 when it was determined that 85 percent of the Caucasian race, as well as a high percentage of African Americans and Asians contained the same protein substance on red blood cells found in rhesus monkeys.

According to the American Red Cross, the type of blood most hospitals request is type O. Red blood cells can be stored for approximately 42 days whereas plasma can be frozen and stored for up to a year. The average adult body contains 10 pints of blood and blood accounts for approximately 7 percent of a person’s body weight. The American Red Cross also states that every 2 seconds, someone in the United States requires blood.

Bone marrow works continuously to replenish the blood supply so donors do not need to worry when giving blood. All donated blood is screened and tested for infectious diseases before being given to hospitals. Only 7 percent of Americans have O-negative blood. Type O-negative is always in high demand since it is used in emergencies when the blood type is not known. It can be used in place of any other blood type.

The Japanese believe that certain traits are common in people of a particular blood type. Type O people are said to be loyal, passionate leaders that are jealous and competitive. Type A individuals are said to be sensitive, patient and affectionate but also stubborn. Type B are creative, independent people that like to do things their way. Type AB are natural born entertainers but they can be standoffish. They also have difficulty making decisions.

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