What is Bombay Blood? Blood in general consists of four types, namely A, B, O, and AB. Blood O is mostly owned by humans, about 49 percent of the population, followed by A (38 percent), B (10 percent), and the rest AB.
Only three percent of the human population on earth has this type of blood. Although very rare, it turns out that there is another rarest blood type, called Bombay blood.
Bombay blood (hh) is a relatively unknown blood type. A, B, AB and O are blood types that can be Rh positive or negative (i.e.: A+, A-, B+, B-, B+, DAN-, O+ and O-). The type of O+ is most common, while AB- is the most difficult to find.
What is Bombay blood?
So, what is Bombay blood? The name was given because the first case was found in Bombay (Mumbai), India. Bombay blood cases are commonly found in one in 250,000 people in the world. In India, the prevalence of this strange blood type includes many, one in seven thousand to eight thousand people.
Bombay blood at first glance resembles blood type O, but if studied there is a difference in antigens with blood type O in general. This results in blood cells can experience destruction or lysis when mixed with different blood types.
Bombay blood owners, if you don’t know it, it’s very difficult to receive blood transfusions. They can even experience bleeding, shock, and death. However, the owner of this blood type can still live a healthy and normal life, like other blood type owners.
Donors usually have to come from their own families. In his family, it is certain that there are those who have similar blood types.
How is the blood type determined?
Nearly 45 percent of the blood in the human body is made up of red blood cells, one percent is a white blood cell and the rest is plasma. Red blood cells and plasma have protein molecules called antigens and antibodies. Both are very important for a resilient immune system.
Red blood cells have antigens on their surface, while the plasma has antibodies in them. The antigen on the surface of the red blood cell is either A or B and sometimes has both. The antigen is responsible for blood types A, B, AB and O. If red blood cells have antigen A on it, then the plasma has antibodies B and vice versa.
In cases where red blood cells do not have antigens A or B, the plasma has antibodies A and B, that is, blood type O.
Positive and negative charges occur due to another protein called Rh Factor. If the surface of the red blood cells has Rh, the blood type is positive and if not, negative.
Bombay blood group history
The percentage of the appearance of this blood type is 1:250,000 which means that every 250,000 people there is only one person of Bombay blood type. If you have the Bombay blood type you should immediately go the Red Cross and store your blood so as not to be difficult if at any time you need it. What is clear is that the Red Cross will be difficult to get blood with this type.
According to BHATIA and SANGHVI research in 1962, Bombay Blood has been widely found in Marathi-speaking people around Bombay city, with a frequency of one in 13,000. By 1969 there had been nearly 30 cases of Bombay Blood worldwide (excluding the Bombay city).
People with Bombay phenotype blood type can only be transfused with blood from other Bombay phenotype people. Given that the condition is extremely rare, people with blood types who need urgent blood transfusions may be able to get it, as no blood bank will have stock. They need to anticipate for blood transfusions (e.g. In scheduled surgery) to be able to bank blood for their own use (i.e., autologous blood donation), but this option is not available in cases of accidental injury.
- Image: Dr. Manavpreet Kaur, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons