Imagine for a second, that a loved one had been in a horrific accident. Luckily, the medical professionals arrived at the scene in double-quick time. Hey told you that your loved one needed emergency surgery that would include a blood transfusion.
They asked you to tell them their blood type, but you didn’t think you would ever need that information so you can’t help them. The doctors then have to use up vital time in testing the blood. It would all be such a shame. This could all be prevented by a simple home blood testing kit that tells you someone’s blood type in mere minutes. The advances in technology have improved at such a rate in recent years.
Home testing is not a very real and affordable prospect. Yet it is totally understandable that you have a lot of questions about what used to a complicated process.
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How to test your blood type at home with a kit
Home testing of your blood type with a kit is very straightforward. The kit comes with everything you need to carry out the testing process from start to finish. It is as simple as drawing a little amount of blood from your finger and applying it to the card, waiting a few minutes and reading the results.
The home blood type testing kit is a fairly new advancement in blood testing that helps us discover what is our blood type if we did not already know. The kit itself has everything you would need to carry out the test as well as thorough instructions on what to do.
The star of the show is what is called an Eldoncard. It is essentially a piece of card that has been manufactured to react to the antigens in your blood. All you have to do is provide a few drops of the red stuff. Here is a breakdown of how to use a blood type test at home.
- Find a large flat surface that is free from clutter.
- Sanitize the area thoroughly with a cleaner solution and dry.
- Layout all the components of the test kit onto the surface.
- Sterilize your finger with the alcohol wipe provided in the kit.
- Use the lancet (finger pricker) to draw a little blood from your finger.
- Squeeze your finger to get a big enough drop of blood to show itself and use the plastic tool to transfer this drop of blood over to the first circle of the Eldoncard.
- Repeat stages 4 to 6 for each of the four circles on the Eldoncard.
- Add a drop of water to each circle and mix them with the blood using the plastic tool provided.
- Tilt the card in every direction for ten seconds each.
- Assess the results.
If you are worried about the lancet, don’t be. It looks a lot worse than it actually is. There is no pain at all from the tiny prick that pierces your skin. The most important thing is to be fast. Also, it is also advantageous to keep your hand down after you have drawn blood so that enough can form to do the test.
Another important note is to use a different plastic tool for each circle and absolutely DO NOT cross-contaminate the tools or the blood samples. Another common error that can result in a botched result is if you fail to apply enough blood to each circle. The test only works if a generous amount of blood touches the card.
If everything is done correctly, then the card will reveal the results to you. Your blood is tested in two groups, these are ABO type (A, B, AB, O) and Rh factor (Rh+, Rh-).
Why does knowing your blood type matter?
Knowing your blood type is very important and matters because it could save your life one day. Blood is an amazing substance, but it does not mix very well. In the event that you have an accident and need a blood transfusion, receiving the wrong type of blood could kill you.
Non matching blood causes blood cells to bond together and cause a blood clot. It can even be rejected by your body completely. So, if you ever have an accident and need an emergency transfusion, the doctors need to know what blood type you are.
What does your blood type actually mean?
There are 8 blood types in total. These consist of one of the four blood groups- A, B, AB, or O, and one of Rhesus positive or Rhesus Negative. Here they are in full.
- A+ or A-
- B+ or B-
- AB+ or AB-
- O+ or O-
The four blood groups represent the type of antigens in your blood. These antigens (known as ‘self-antigens) are carbohydrates that attach themselves to lipids proteins in the blood. Conversely, an antigen is any substance that the body’s immune system can respond to.
- Group A blood has A antigens.
- Group B blood has B antigens
- Group AB blood has both A and B antigens.
- Group O blood has neither A or B antigens.
The Rhesus factor of your blood refers to whether you have Rhesus antigens on the surface of your blood cells. If you do, you are Rh+, if not, you are Rh-. Any blood entering your body has to match these two factors exactly, or it will be rejected.
What is the most common and least common blood type?
The most common blood type in America is group O, followed by group A, then B then AB is by far the rarest. Ab is special because people with type AB blood can only receive type AB blood. Yet conversely, type AB blood can be given to everyone in all the other blood groups.
This makes it simultaneously the rarest and most precious of the blood types. If you use a home testing kit and discover you are of the AB blood type, consider donating a little, it could save a life!