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Rhesus factor

Formal Name:  ABO Group and Rh Type What is Rhesus factor tested? Rhesus factor is a characteristic of an individual’s

Rhesus factor

Formal Name:  ABO Group and Rh Type

What is Rhesus factor tested?

Rhesus factor is a characteristic of an individual’s blood. Rh factor is present on the surface of the red blood cells (RBCs). This is a protein chain. If your blood contains the factor, then you are Rh positive. If there is no protein in the RBCs’ surface, you are Rh negative. Rh factor is determined by your ancestry lineage, meaning the factor is passed from parents to their children via genes. Rhesus factor is also important if there are any abnormalities after transfusion of blood.

1When to Get Tested?

The test for Rhesus factor is necessary mostly for transfusing blood or blood components. It’s also an important factor while donating blood, organ, tissues or bone marrow for transplantation. For a pregnant woman, Rhesus factor is important for determining the risk of Rh incompatibility with the fetus. If the fetus has Rh incompatibility with mother, then it may cause serious issues for the child.

How the test is performed

The test requires a sample of the person’s blood. The health care provider will inject a needle on the arm and collect a sample of blood for measuring the blood grouping along with Rhesus factor.

What the test result means

If you get an Rh-positive result, it means the Rh factor is present at the surface of your blood’s RBCs. If the result is negative, then the Rh factor is not present at the RBCs’ surface.

Anything else I should know?

For most people in the world, Rh positive is common. Rh negative is quite rare. Transfusing blood or transplanting organ of different Rh factor may cause severe health issues and transfusion reactions. Blood may clot inside the body and lead the patient to further health issues. However, in dire needs, blood and organs are less likely to cause such complexity if the donor is from the same racial or ethnic group.

Do I need to know my blood type?

Knowing your blood type is quite important, as it can be useful in many situations. During a blood transfusion, the Rh factor is really important. Before transfusing, the healthcare facility will determine the blood type before transfusion. However, in extreme emergency situation when there’s not enough time for testing the blood type, the individual will be transfused with group “O” blood as there are no antigens (A or B) present in the blood.

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