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Bombay Rare Blood Group Org. Maharashtra - India

FAQ

Bombay blood group is a rare blood type in which the affected individuals have an H antigen deficiency.

Bombay blood group is a rare blood type that was first discovered in a patient of Bombay, now called Mumbai. It is a rare condition and has been reported in 1 of 10,000 individuals in India and 1 in a million people in Europe.


People with Bombay blood group appear that they have an O blood group; however, they suffer from a reaction if they are transfused with any other blood group including O blood.

Why does this happen? This happens because the person lacks an antigen called the H antigen. The H antigen is a precursor protein that gives rise to the A and B antigens, on the basis of which people are classified into the A, B or AB blood groups. Normally, people with the O blood group do not convert H to A or B. Thus, they have large amounts of H antigen. On the other hand, people with Bombay blood group have the O blood group, but have one difference - they do not have the H antigen. They are said to have the Oh blood group and are described as h/h. Some of these individuals can make a small amount of H antigen, which appears in the secretions. These people are said to have the para-Bombay phenotype.


It is also important to remember that people with Bombay blood group can donate blood only to those of this group.
Because Bombay blood group is very rare, a database of individuals of this blood group is maintained so that these individuals can help each other at times of need. The situation is even more difficult if a person with a Bombay blood group develops thalassemia, a condition that requires frequent blood transfusions. Women with Bombay blood group may theoretically deliver babies with hemolytic disease of the newborn if the baby does not inherit the same blood type, though such cases are not known as yet.
 
Some tips to remember if you have Bombay blood group:

Enter your name in one of the databases that keeps information about individuals with Bombay blood group.

If you are in good health, do consider donating your blood to those of the same blood group in times of need. At the same time, it is better not to donate at regular camps but only when the need arises to prevent wastage of blood.

Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and as far as possible, avoid situations that will raise the requirement for blood.

Finally, the presence of the Bombay blood group does not mean that you suffer from any illness. It just means that you are a little different. In fact, it also means that you are special, for you can help some individuals whom many others may be unable to help

 

 

The Hh blood group

The Hh blood group contains one antigen, the H antigen, which is found on virtually all RBCs and is the building block for the production of the antigens within the ABO blood group.
H antigen deficiency is known as the "Bombay phenotype" (h/h, also known as Oh) and is found in 1 of 10,000 individuals in India and 1 in a million people in Europe. There is no ill effect with being H deficient, but if a blood transfusion is ever needed, people with this blood type can receive blood only from other donors who are also H deficient. (A transfusion of "normal" group O blood can trigger a severe transfusion reaction.)
Because the H antigen is the precursor of the ABO blood group antigens, if it is not produced, the ABO blood group antigens are also not produced. This can be misleading in paternity cases, a fact that has been exploited in soap opera story lines!
In the show "General Hospital", the father of Monica's child was in doubt. Monica had blood type A (genotype AO) and her child had blood type O (genotype OO). Because the child must inherit an O allele from the father, the father could have the genotype AO, BO, or OO. In other words, the child's father could have blood group A or B or O, which rules out Monica's husband Alan (type AB) and implicates Rick (type O).

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1. How common is the Bombay Blood group in India?

1 of 10,000 Indians are found to have Bombay Blood Group.

2. Does Bombay blood group only affect Indians?

Bombay blood group is also seen in individuals besides Indians, though it is much rarer, amounting to one in a million cases in Europe.

3. What happens when a Bombay Blood group individual receives blood transfusion from an ABO blood group?

The patient is at a high risk of suffering from acute hemolytic transfusion reaction.

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