Are you A, B, O, or AB? Why you need to know.

What’s your type? No, we don’t mean tall, dark, and handsome. We’re talking about blood type. Do you know yours? Up until now, only about 43 percent of Americans could say yes.

However, people have become very interested in what type of blood runs through their veins — thanks to COVID-19.  Internet searches for blood type skyrocketed 100 percent after two studies made headlines a few months into the pandemic.

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June of 2020 suggested people with type A blood may be at greater risk for contracting COVID-19 and experiencing severe symptoms, while people with type O blood have a lower risk. However, another study published a month later disputed some of these findings — stating a lack of connection between blood type and COVID-19.

Bottom line from all the buzz — don’t rely on blood type for protection against COVID-19. Any blood type is susceptible to severe symptoms.

Breaking Down the Blood Types

Now that we have your attention, let’s get to the bottom of blood types. Most of us have about four to six liters of blood pumping through our bodies. Your blood type is inherited from your parents.

There are eight different blood types:

A positive – One of the most common blood types in the United States, accounting for 35.7 percent of the population. Someone with this blood type can only give blood to someone else who is A positive or someone who is AB positive.

A negative – This is a rare blood type, only seen in about 6.3 percent of the U.S. population. Someone with A negative blood can give blood to anyone with A or AB blood type.

B positive – About 8.5 percent of Americans have this blood type. Someone with this rare type can give blood only to people who are B positive or AB positive.

B negative – Someone with this very rare type (1.5 percent) can give blood to anyone with B or AB blood type.

AB positive – Even though this is a rare blood type, accounting for only 3.4 percent of the population, anyone with AB positive blood is known as a universal recipient — which means they can receive blood or plasma of any type.

AB negative – This is the rarest blood type — only 0.6 percent of the U.S. population has it. Someone with this blood type is known as a “universal plasma donor” because anyone can receive this type of plasma.

O positive – 37.4 percent of the population is O positive — making it one of the most common blood types. Someone with this can give blood to anyone with a positive blood type.

O negative – Someone with this rare blood type can give blood to anyone with any blood type. 6.6 percent of the U.S. population is O negative.

Why You Should Know Your Blood Type

 There are many reasons why you should know your blood type just as well as your Social Security number. Here are the top three.

Safe Blood Transfusions

The discovery of blood types was an important step forward in medicine. An Austrian scientist named Karl Landsteiner is credited for the discovery in 1901. Before that, doctors thought all blood was the same, which meant blood transfusions were more life-threatening than life-saving.

Now, experts understand that mixing two different types of blood can be fatal. For a blood transfusion to be safe and effective, the recipient must receive donor blood that is compatible. Otherwise, the blood of the person receiving the transfusion will try and fight off the donor blood, causing a toxic reaction.

Before a blood transfusion, your blood will be tested and matched with the correct donor blood ensuring you receive only what’s compatible.

Plan a Healthy Pregnancy

Studies suggest women who have type O blood may face a higher risk of a condition called diminished ovarian (egg) reserve, meaning it might be more difficult for these women to conceive.

Another important reason a woman should learn their blood type is to determine Rh factor incompatibility. If an expectant mother has Rh-negative blood and her baby has Rh-positive blood, it can lead to something called Rh incompatibility.

These pregnancies need to be closely monitored to make sure the mother’s body doesn’t produce antibodies that attack the baby’s blood, which could result in complications.

Blood Donations

Knowing your blood type puts you in a better position to help others. Blood donation is considered the gift of life. Blood donors help people of all ages — accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplants, and those battling cancers.

According to the Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Many times local organizations will also put out a call for specific types of blood donations after natural disasters. Knowing your blood type can help you respond to the needs quickly.

Finding Out Your Blood Type

Finding out your blood type can be done with a simple blood test. Any Lab Test Now offers a blood type screening test that requires no fasting or a doctor’s order. Test results generally come back in 24 to 72 business hours. You can learn more about blood type testing here.

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including finding out your blood type.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 185+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus outbreak. We are here to help.