Do you know Bombay Blood Group?

Did you happen to see the Telugu movie Okkadunnadu? It reveals around rarest blood group type. At first you may feel it’s just imaginary story but indeed it’s not. I mean, there are few rarest blood groups available and one among them is Bombay Blood Group!! B.S.Shridhar is one of such person who has Bombay blood group.

On May 3rd 1952 , A railway worker and another wounded victim were admitted to hospital in Mumbai who were in need of blood transfusion. When their blood groups were tested, none of the blood groups matched with them. Blood used to coagulate or clumped up as soon as it was mixed with other known blood samples. Drs. Y.M. Bhende, C.K. Deshpande and H.M. Bhatia of the Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College tried mixing with blood samples of 160 donors and finally found that it matches with one person’s blood who is resident of Bombay. This blood group was named as Bombay Blood Group by Dr Bhende. This blood group is known as HH Blood group.

Read More on Blood Groups: If Father has Blood Group A and Mother has Blood Group B , What will be the blood group of children??

So What is this Bombay Blood Group?

The h/h blood group is one among those rare blood groups which often come into existence. It is also known as Oh or Bombay blood groupIt’s rare because, the people with this blood group do not express the ‘H-antigen’. H antigen, also known as substance H is present on 19th chromosome. It is the precursor to each of the ABO blood type antigens which is present in all most all people except with the people having Bombay blood group. As a result of this, people with Bombay blood group cannot form antigen-A or antigen-B on their red blood cells. That’s the reason they can donate blood to anybody with ABO blood group but can receive blood only from the people with Bombay blood group.

A person who has this rarest blood group can receive blood only from people who belongs to same blood group. Means if someone belongs to Bombay Blood group then he or she can receive blood from another Bombay blood group person.

So How did these rare blood groups happen?

It is because of generally due to broad inbreeding inside a similar genealogy or close-group relational marriages, frequently consanguineous, to such an extent that the ‘blood classification’ or the quality pool is extraordinarily confined.Such intra-community marriages have happened in small isolated communities such as the gypsies, Russian Jewish or Parsi communities. It is thus likely that the Bombay Blood types have common ancestral origins.

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Why Blood Groups are Important?

The blood groups are important in medicine since the need of blood transfusion is very frequent. The crucial need is due to the presence of antibodies. As we discuss before, the antibodies attack the foreign cells and destroys them. If a person with blood type A receives a blood transfusion with blood type B, the recipient’s immune system will recognize the blood type B cells as foreign cells and mount an immune response. It produces antibodies against blood type B cells which attacks and destroys blood type B cells. This type of blood type mismatch can lead to severe illness. The same applies well even during organ transplantation.

Antibodies act in the body’s defense against invading viruses and bacteria. The people with blood type O can make both anti-A and anti-B antibodies. Whereas people with blood type A can make anti-B antibody and people with blood type B can make anti-A antibody. The people with blood type AB can make neither type of antibody.

A mechanism called tolerance prevents an organism from producing antibodies against its own antigen. This is the key mechanism that ensures that A antigen elicits the production of A-antibody and B antigen elicits the production of B-antibody respectively. Since the blood type AB has both the antigen A and B, it produces neither type of the antibody and can receive blood from any of the other ABO type. Hence it is called as Universal recipient.

Blood type O has no antigen and produces both A and B antibodies, it can receive blood only from O type. But can donate to any other ABO type. Hence it is called as Universal donor.

Rare blood groups can donate blood only to other rare blood group people. Bombay Blood group people can donate to another Bombay blood group. B.S.Shridhar is has donated blood many times. You can find a separate group who has come together to help such people. You can find Bombay Blood Doners Group community here.