Does the Type of Blood You Have Tell You Anything?

wiseGEEK Writer

Identifying blood type can help in a number of ways and is thus important. Degree of importance depends upon the needs of the individual. Everyone should know their type for emergency purposes.

Two types of blood on a blood typing test card.
Two types of blood on a blood typing test card.

Should one require blood after an accident, one’s type determines the other types one can receive. Almost all types are compatible with O negative. However, sometimes people require type specific blood, and thus the specific type should be known.

Two packs of O- blood.
Two packs of O- blood.

Blood typing can be a way to initiate research into establishing genetic relationships. For example two parents with AB negative blood cannot have an O positive child. In criminal investigations, this can be used to establish kidnapping charges when a child has clearly not been adopted. Conversely it can be the beginning step toward proving parental relationships if typing is the same.

Want to automatically save time and money month? Take a 2-minute quiz to find out how you can start saving up to $257/month.

One empty and one full pint-sized blood bag.
One empty and one full pint-sized blood bag.

Typing used to be one of the main ways in which the police establish a criminal’s presence at the scene of a crime. Since it takes only a few moments to perform a test, it can still at least eliminate potential suspects. However, since there are numerous people of the same blood type, having the same type found at the scene of a crime does not mean one is necessarily guilty. Further tests that evaluate DNA are used as proof of presence at a crime scene. DNA cannot be duplicated, and each person’s DNA is individual, like fingerprints.

A pouch of AB- blood, which is the rarest type.
A pouch of AB- blood, which is the rarest type.

Knowing one’s blood type can also be helpful if one plans to donate blood, bone marrow, or an organ. Only type information is needed for the purpose of donation. Both bone marrow and organ donation require more specific testing to determine matches. However, blood typing is the first step toward determining a match.

Red blood cells.
Red blood cells.

It is also useful to know the type because rare types are in constant demand at local blood banks. O negative is in very high demand as this is considered the universal donor. All other types can receive O negative, yet people with O negative can only receive the same type. Thus, this blood is also needed specifically for the accidents or surgeries of those with O negative type. As well, some people may require other type specific blood, thus those with rare types are encouraged to regularly donate.

Blood typing might be done from crime scene evidence.
Blood typing might be done from crime scene evidence.
Knowing one's blood type is useful when donating blood.
Knowing one's blood type is useful when donating blood.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


My blood group is o- and my partner's is AB+. Can we have children?


Yes, my blood type is A positive. I am Hispanic. But, I do not consider myself of the Hispanic race because my blood type is A positive. I have been treated as Hispanic by Americans, Mormons and Jews. But, the reality is that I am not Hispanic by race. I am blood type A. Which is the rarest blood type in the world?


what are the odds of a married couple both having AB- really? that's my type and very rare, have 2 kids A+,one B-,and one A-! Im AB-


Why do people only give statistics about blacks, whites, and Asians? Considering that we live in a society where race mixing is common amongst blacks, whites, Asians, and Hispanics, there should be statistics given on people that are mixed, considering that they make up a large percentage of the population.


White - Afr American - Hispanic - Asian

O + 37% 47% 53% 39%

O - 8% 4% 4% 1%

A + 33% 24% 29% 27%

A - 7% 2% 2% 0.5%

B + 9% 18% 9% 25%

B - 2% 1% 1% 0.4%

AB + 3% 4% 2% 7%

AB - 1% 0.3% 0.2% 0.1%

Pocurana, As this chart shows (courtesy of the Red Cross site) AB is the least common blood type in the U.S. and I'm guessing this reflective of the world as well.


can dna tell your blood type?


I've always known O positive blood to be the most common. I've heard something like over 60% of people worldwide have it. But, I've recently heard that, in some regions, A positive blood is *more* common than O positive. It seems that O positive is the most common in the North America and South America, but A positive alleles are the majority in places like South Korea and Finland. The B allele is apparently the least common blood type in the world, but occurs with the most frequency in parts of Africa and Asia and Eastern Europe.

Post your comments
Forgot password?