Blood Group Test

What is this test?

Rhesus factor (Rh factor) is an inherited protein found on the surface of red blood cells. If your red blood cells have an Rh factor then you are Rh positive and if you do not have Rh factor on the red blood cells then you are Rh negative. Being Rh negative does not affect your health. It may affect your pregnancy and special care should be taken. Rh factor is inherited to the baby from either of the parents.

Blood groups are classified according to the presence or absence of Rh antigen usually called an Rh factor on the red blood cells. The Rh term is derived from the rhesus monkey as monkey’s blood is used for the tests. The Rh antibodies will be developed if an individual who does not have Rh factor on his/her red blood cells or an Rh-negative individual is exposed to Rh-positive red blood cells. This usually happens in pregnancy and during childbirth when an Rh-negative woman gets pregnant with an Rh-positive baby or when an Rh-negative person is transfused with Rh-positive blood. In both the cases, the exposure to the Rh antigen may not lead to any responses against the Rh positive cells but the next exposure may lead to serious reactions.

Why this test is recommended?

This test may be recommended during the blood transfusion or if you are donating the blood. Blood transfusion may be necessary in cases like severe blood loss, heavy bleeding, bleeding during or after surgery, bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, severe anemia, injury, trauma, etc. This is also recommended in pregnancy to know if the mother is Rh positive or Rh negative. This test is also recommended if you are planning to get pregnant or if you are Rh negative and got pregnant with an Rh positive man.

Rh factor test is very important in pregnancy. If the mother is Rh negative and the baby is Rh positive, then there is an Rh incompatibility. In pregnancy, there may be cases where a baby’s blood passing into the mother’s body through the placenta. Then the body may consider the baby’s blood as a foreign substance and produces antibodies against it. This condition may lead to a miscarriage, problems with later pregnancy, anemia, bleeding during pregnancy, the fetus develop outside the uterus mostly in the fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy), change in position of the baby, non-cancerous tumor in uterus, abdominal trauma, etc. Generally, Rh incompatibility is not a problem in the first pregnancy because most of the antibodies are not produced before the childbirth and do affect the childbirth. But during the second pregnancy with an Rh-positive baby may lead to life-threatening anemia.

Also known as Blood Grouping with RH Factor Slide Method.