- Rh Negative Facts
February 15, 20211
The rarest blood type in existence is Rhnull blood. This stuff is characterized by a complete lack of antigens in the Rh system, which is the largest blood group system. This includes the D antigen (Rh factor, baby), plus the other 50-something antigens in the group.
“Man with the Golden Arm”
It’s estimated James Harrison’s blood plasma has saved over 2.4 million (yes, million) fetuses and infants. His blood plasma is called “Golden”.
43 people around the world in the last 50 years have been identified with Rh-null blood. Only 9 donate.
After life-threatening lung surgery at age 14, which left him hospitalized for three months. His life was saved thanks to transfusions of donated blood plasma. He made a commitment to pay it back. However, because of Australia’s regulations for blood donations, he had to wait until he was 18. Even so, he stayed true to his word.
James had given blood plasma 1,173 times. About once every three weeks for 60-years.
Every three weeks, since 1954, James has given blood plasma. It wasn’t until a decade later it was discovered that his blood contained an important antibody which was needed to make Anti-D injections. Harrison’s blood plasma contains a rare antibody that’s used to make a medication called anti-D immunoglobulin, also known as Rh immunoglobulin. This medication is given to mothers who are at risk for something called “Rh incompatibility” with their fetus, which means the mothers’ immune system may attack and destroy the fetus’s red blood cells.
3 million doses of Anti-D containing James’ blood plasma have been issued to Aussie mothers with a negative blood type since 1967.
Rhnull phenotype is a rare blood group characterized by the lack of expression of all Rh antigens (D, C, c, E and e) on the red cells. The phenotype is further classified into the regulator and amorph type based on underlying genetic defect. The clinical significance of its recognition is that such patients suffer from Rhnull syndrome associated with osmotically fragile red cells called stomatocytes with subsequent chronic haemolytic anaemia of varying degree. Another importance is that such subjects readily form alloantibodies on exposure to Rh antigens.
Thanks to Mike at: https://www.rhesusnegative.net