Welcome to "Rare-blood-goups"

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You are visiting the website "Rare blood groups" of the German Society for Transfusion Medicine and Immunohaematology (DGTI). The site is maintained by the "Rare Blood Groups" working group, which is part of Section V "Immunohaematology and Immunogenetics".

 

What is a blood group?

Blood group is the colloquial term for a blood group antigen. This refers to a structure on the surface of erythrocytes against which people who do not have this antigen can form antibodies. Antibodies against blood group antigens can cause haemolysis when an antigen-positive blood product is transfused. In the case of pregnancy, diaplacentally transferred antibodies from the mother can haemolyse the erythrocytes of the foetus and cause haemolytic disease.

 

When is a blood group rare?

A blood group or phenotype is considered rare if it is found in only one in 500 individuals or even fewer. Such rare blood products are generally not available even in larger blood banks, which makes it difficult to supply patients in need of a transfusion with such a rare blood group.

 

Assistance for physicians

This page is intended to help physicians who need to transfuse patients with rare blood groups in their search for compatible blood products. In the section "Searching for Rare Donors" you will find information and contact details of national and international blood transfusion services that stock blood products with rare blood groups.

 

Scientific topics

Due to their rarity, there is not yet enough information on some of these blood groups to determine whether they are relevant for transfusion or pregnancy. Information and ongoing studies on these issues can be found on this website.