What happens when you put O+ blood in O- body

Medical Sciences Asked by Frezzley on August 29, 2021

What happens when you put O+ blood in a O- body?

I know O- can be put in everywhere but what happens, when you put a blood group in a body that would fit the group, but mismatches the rhesus factor.

I know it’s not the smartest thing to do but what were the complications that could be expected gor doing it anyway — let’s say in an emergency when nothing else is available.

As suggested in the comments, I should add this to it, for those who do not know about the different blood groups:

The Rh system

Red blood cells sometimes have another antigen, a protein known as the RhD antigen. If this is present, your blood group is RhD positive. If it’s absent, your blood group is RhD negative.
This means you can be 1 of 8 blood groups:

A RhD positive (A+)

A RhD negative (A-)

B RhD positive (B+)

B RhD negative (B-)

O RhD positive (O+)

O RhD negative (O-)

AB RhD positive (AB+)

AB RhD negative (AB-)

0- is compadible with ally blood groups, 0+ with all positive ones and so on.

One Answer

Kinda interesting question IMHO, let me break it down a little.

First, let's tackle the ABO system. Here you are transfusing O into O, so that would be perfectly fine.

Secondly, the is the Rhesus factor. Rh+ erythrocytes have a special antigen on their surface, and if the recipient has antibodies against that antigen, that would cause problems (for comparison, as you had written in your question, Rh- blood is universally1 transfusable since it doesn't have the antigen and therefore it doesn't matter if the recipient has antibodies or not).
Now we need to find out if our recipient has anti-Rh2 antibodies. Unlike in the ABO system, Rh- people do not automatically express anti-Rh antibodies, unless they have been in contact with the antigen before.
This is is why, and here is the answer to your question, the very first transfusion in such a setup wouldn't normally cause any reaction, however it would stimulate the patient's body to produce antibodies, which means that any further exposure to Rh+ blood would cause Haemolytic Anemia.

Last but not least, while this answer covers your described situation, in real life you would also need to look at a few other compatibility factors.

Hope this was understandably written, here's a
reference article to some additional info primarily regarding Rh physiology.

1 in regard to Rh system
2 in reality there are other antigens in the Rh system rather then just D and d, so it is a bit more complicated - we'll leave it for now

Correct answer by practiZ on August 29, 2021

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