I'm posed with the following statement, and question:
"During a blood transfusion, it is more likely the
recipients blood rather than the donor's will create
a level of agglutination that is life threatening.
Why in general is the recipient's blood more
troublesome than the donor's blood?"
I've been researching cross reactions, transfusion reactions, hemolysis, and the like... but I still cannot figure how why the the recipients blood would play a greater role than the donor's blood.
Is it because the recipient would typically have more volume of their own blood? Or because the recipient's immune system would have a greater supply train?
Please help me to understand why when there is a blood transfusion using the bad type that the recipient's blood would play a greater role than the donor's blood.
Aug 2, '13
by Rose_Queen, MSN, RN
I was always taught RABs attack DANs (recipient antibodies attack donor antigens). So, whatever a patient has floating around in their bloodstream (antibodies) attacks whatever happens to be attached to the donor's blood cells (antigens). So, where will you find more antibodies- in the bloodstream of the recipient or in the transfusion? Based on volume, the patient's bloodstream will have more.
However, thanks to type and crossmatching, someone should never get blood that is not their type or at least compatible with their type in an emergent situation. Because type O blood has no antigens attached to the cells, they are considered a universal donor. This is why if someone is so desperately in need of a transfusion and doesn't have time for type and crossmatching they will be given type O- blood. That type has no antibodies (of the "major" type- there are other antibodies besides ABO and Rh-/+). Conversely, because they have no antibodies to attack donor antigens, type AB is considered the universal recipient- they can receive A, B, AB, or O blood. Still, giving someone blood of a type other than their own outside of immediate threat to life is not wise- while a smaller volume and thus smaller amount, the antibodies in the donated blood can attack the antigens on the recipient's cells.
Here's an explanation from the American Cancer Society that may be a little easier to understand than something written in "medicalese."
Last edit by Rose_Queen on Aug 2, '13
: Reason: add link