Determine Your Blood Type

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A blood type (also called a blood group) is a classification of blood based on the presence or absence of inherited antigenic substances on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs). These antigens may be proteins, carbohydrates, glycoproteins, or glycolipids, depending on the blood group system. Wikipedia

Want to know your blood type? If you ever need to know, medical staff can determine it on the spot, but maybe you're just curious. Maybe you need it for a visa to Bolivia or to enter a restricted facility. Maybe you want to know what your blood type allegedly says about your personality.[1] Either way, there are actually several ways to go about finding out.


  1. Ask your doctor. If they have this information, this is the easiest way of finding out.
  2. Donate blood. When you go in, ask them if they can tell you your blood type after you're done. They typically won't be able to tell you right away, as the unit of blood (or the specific component -- red blood cells, plasma, platelets) needs to undergo several tests, including typing.
  3. Look on your birth certificate. Your blood type may be listed there.
  4. Guess at what your blood type might be. Blood type is genetically inherited, so if you know your parents' blood types, you can find out yours (or at least narrow it down).

    • The National Blood service has an online blood type calculator here.
  5. Find a "bed-side blood type test" (SeraFoil(tm) or similar). If you or someone you know happens to work in a medical setting, see if you can get your hands on one of these tests.

    1. Dispense one drop of your blood to each field on the test card. Use a sterilized needle. The fields contain antibodies, which will provoke a reaction with antigens on your red blood cells.
    2. Use a new toothpick for each field to mix the blood with the impregnation, creating an about dime-sized smear.

      • If you have blood type A, clumping will appear in following fields: anti-A
      • If you have blood type B, clumping will appear in following fields: anti-B
      • If you have blood type AB, clumping will appear in fields anti-A, anti-B
      • If you have blood type O, no clumping will appear.


  • In addition to the blood types, one should also have their Rh or Rhesus factor tested. If you have your blood typed by the Red Cross or any other professional organization, they'll tell you the Rh factor. This is sometimes called D. You are either D+ or D-. For example, if clumping was noticed in the A field, and in the D field, then that person is A+ blood type.

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