Globally, A, B, AB, and O are the most commonly found blood groups. However, there exists a very special blood group, so rare that only 43 people around the world have it. Wondering what it could be?
‘Rh-Null’ blood type is the rarest blood type observed in people. Also called ‘golden blood’, the blood type discovered in 1961, is extremely valued since there are only 8 available donors who can help with the transfusion.
What gives it the rare stature?
The blood running through our veins is made up of red blood cells (RBCs), plasma and antigens, which number around 342. The same antigens work to determine your blood type. While 160 out of the 342 antibodies are very commonly found, people who miss out on these antigens tend to have a rare blood type. Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system. The Rh-Null phenotype reportedly happens in one in 6 million people.
Precisely, those who lack ‘Rh’ antigen in their bloodstream are thought to be the lucky ones carrying golden blood in their veins. Since it’s still very rare, scientists are still studying factors and conducting several tests, considering that Rh-null blood type people can act as universal blood donors for people who have rare blood groups.
Just like us, people who carry Rh blood type are capable of leading normal, healthy lives without major danger to life. However, since the RBC count is a little low, they tend to be at the risk of borderline anemia.
Are there any risks associated with it?
Since the population of people with golden blood is fairly low, they are taken care of everywhere and practice extra precaution, considering that theirs is the most sought after blood group.
Rh-null might be the most esteemed blood type but it can be a little difficult to find a donor who can help them out in case of transfusion and medical care as their numbers are low. Transportation of blood across borders in such rare cases becomes more difficult because of bureaucracy. Hence, transfusion is not that easy. Some of the people carrying the blood type are even asked to insure their blood or donate it in a bank.