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Introduction to Blood Types with Carolina® Blood Typing Cards

Carolina LabSheets™

Objective

You will perform tests to determine the ABO-Rh properties of a blood sample.

Materials

Carolina® Blood Typing Card Student Pack

Activity Procedure

If you are using your own blood as the sample for testing:


  1. Use an alcohol swab to gently clean the fingertip you will use for testing.
  2. Remove the cap from the safety lancet. Place the lancet on the fingertip, and using firm pressure, press down until the lancet pierces the fingertip.
  3. Collect a droplet of blood on the concave surface of the blood mixing stick and swirl it on the circle labeled Anti-A.
  4. Perform Step 3 for each of the designated spaces on the blood typing card, using a new blood mixing stick to collect a blood droplet each time.
  5. Add a drop of water to each of the circles and mix gently with the respective blood mixing stick, being careful not to cross contaminate samples.
  6. Hold the card at the bottom corners and rock it back and forth gently for 20 seconds.
  7. Carefully examine the thin film of liquid mixture left behind. If the film remains uniform in appearance, there is no agglutination. If the sample appears granular, agglutination has occurred. Determine the blood type of each sample using the chart below. Answer yes or no as to whether the agglutination occurred in the sample. A positive agglutination reaction indicates the blood type.
  8.   Anti-A Anti-B Anti-D (Rh) Blood Type
    Reaction Occurred? (Y/N)        
  9. Be sure to dispose of the materials properly based on local guidelines for blood and bodily fluid disposal.

Discussion

Almost everyone can be assigned to 1 of the 4 ABO blood groups. These blood groups result from the presence or absence of 2 antigens, A and B, on the membranes of red blood cells. Answer the following questions based on your results recorded in the Data Table.

Mike is blood type A. When a lab technician mixes a sample of Mike’s blood with serum taken from Ken’s blood, Mike’s blood cells agglutinate. When Mike’s blood is mixed with serum from Kim’s blood, there is no agglutination.

What is the most likely explanation of this?

Assuming this pattern applies to all the ABO blood groups, fill in this chart:

ABO Blood Groups

Blood Group Red Cell Antigen Serum Antibody
A    
B    
AB    
O    

Rh is another human blood group. People are classified as either Rh-positive or Rh-negative depending on whether their blood cells agglutinate when mixed with anti-D (anti-Rh). Because both ABO and Rh have medical significance, both are used in designating a person’s blood type (e.g., A+, A-). About 14% of the population in the United States is Rh-negative. People with Rh-negative blood type usually do not have Rh antibody in their blood serum unless there has been a previous exposure to the Rh antigen.

What are some ways that such an exposure might take place?


Related Resources

Infographic: What’s Your Blood Type?

Introduction to Blood Types